We have all been there, working in a group where it seems like no one cares except YOU! It is truly frustrating, but this is a problem you will most likely run into for the rest of your career life, seeing how team work is a common form of organizing employees. The following steps are a guide to forming a strong group with contributing members.
Step 1: Set a common goal for the group
In order to motivate the group members, it is important to first agree on a goal for the group work. This should be discussed in such a way that everyone agrees with the outcome. In order to get all the members to contribute, one must have a set goal that the whole group is working towards.
Step 2: Roles and Responsibilities
From early on the group members need to receive different roles and responsibilities. The group should focus on each individual’s strong side, and then make sure they use this to the group’s advantage. One group member might be really good at making PowerPoint presentations, so it would be natural to put this person in a position where he or she either makes the Powerpoints or give helpful advice to the person responsible for creating them. To complete this step every member of the group needs to have a clear idea of what their role and responsibility is so that they can do what is expected of them.
Step 3: Creating interpersonal relationships
If the group is going to work in cohesion, all of the group members need to put in an effort to understand the others in the group. We are all individuals with different needs, goals, and desires. To help each individual fulfill these, the group as a whole needs to understand and respect each other. Having this sort of respect for one another will help people feel safe in the group and express feelings and ideas. The other members should listen and participate in finding ways to make these ideas beneficial for the group work. The relaxed and informal atmosphere that will stem from this sort of group work is a characteristic of a well-functioning group.
(With all that pizza, how can a project group go wrong?!)
Step 4: Performance
By this stage, all conflicts within the group should be easily solved by making necessary changes. The group is not focused on forming interpersonal relationships anymore, but rather towards reaching its goal. All of the members feel confident in themselves and trust that their group members are not just “free-riders”, but are all working hard to reach the same goal.
Step 5: Feedback
Even though this is listed as the fifth step, it is in fact something that all the group members need to be aware for from the very beginning. Giving good feedback is a tremendously powerful tool to motivate and guide group members. Be sure to always make the feedback constructive, meaning that your group members can understand what they did right or wrong and what they should do in the future. Giving good feedback will help all the members of the group reach their potential.
I truly hope some of these tips are helpful for you colligettes out there looking for a way to improve a group work. A final tip; people are motivated by the strangest thing. If you feel like your group members did a really good job, find a way to show your gratitude. Bringing a box of chocolate to the next group meeting would be an easy, but still powerful way to motivate this positive work attitude in the group.