How to Survive Group Projects

I know we all internally groan when we hear the professor announce a group project. With the program I am in now, we work with the same group of people on various projects and a huge final project for the duration of the semester. I have never been someone that enjoys group projects because I almost always end up doing the majority of the work and picking up the slack of my team members. I have learned many tricks to survive group projects and make the most of the experience.

 

To begin, I had to learn that not everyone thinks the same way I do. Everyone has their own unique way of thinking and it took me years to realize not everyone will understand why I solve problems the way I do. What is most important is to look at the project from the perspectives of all group members and realize your way is not the only way to accomplish a task. Sometimes, the best results come from combining the ideas of the whole group.

 

Another important aspect of surviving a group project is to keep an open mind. Understand that not everyone is going to agree with your ideas and you won’t agree with their ideas. What is most important though is to not automatically disagree with someone because you’re set with how you want to complete the project. You might realize that other people have really insightful ideas that you would have never thought of on your own. Keeping an open mind will make projects more bearable and maybe even enjoyable.

 

Patience is probably the most important skill to have when tackling a group project. Keeping your cool and not getting frustrated with the people you are working with will make everything run so much smoother. You won’t want to work with your group members if you are frustrated with them and they won’t want to work with you. A lot of times, you are stuck with most of the work because you get frustrated with your teammates and tell them “I’ll just do it since you can’t seem to get it right.” Remaining patient will cause the group to work more efficiently and effectively.

 

Working in a group project is not the end of the world and can actually be a great learning experience for all parties involved. If you stick to the tips I have given you, your next project might just be an enjoyable experience. You might even make some friends along the way.