We’ve all been there, perhaps at college, maybe for a work project, whatever it was – working in a team isn’t always the easiest process. You might have a few slackers in your group, or maybe everyone wants to lead and perhaps ideas are clashing, or on the other hand maybe no one in your group has any bright ideas at all as the deadline looms closer. It can be awkward when placed with a team, so here are a few tips to getting it right, and getting the most out of your group. After all, it is in all of your best interests!
1. Establish roles early on. You might have an initial session with your group where you talk through some ideas for whatever your project is. Maybe you need to create a campaign for an advertising purpose, or perhaps a presentation for a lecture hall. In your initial session, you will set the tone for the rest of the time you work together. You might find there is a clear leader, and if you’re happy for them to assume this role, let them. Having a leader means you can be organised more efficiently. Whatever you do, try and give everyone a role and make sure people are happy with what they’ve been given.
2. Arrange regular meet ups. Try and meet up regularly to touch base with the other people in your group. If you find this hard, create a group chat on apps like WhatsApp. This allows you the chance to share ideas even when not together. There are many other group chat apps available.
3. Use technology to help you. Following on from the above, use technology to assist. Programs like Thru give you the chance to share files and data using the cloud, so anyone can access the file at any time, from anywhere, and on any device. Find out more about this FTP alternative here. This is similar to Dropbox. Other programs that could help you include Google Drive, where you can all edit at the same time from separate locations. This is especially useful if tip number 2 (meeting up regularly) proves difficult.
4. Let everyone get their say. If someone is being quiet, ask them for their views. Perhaps they have good ideas but just don’t have the chance to share them. Don’t let big egos overcrowd less extrovert people, and remember to listen to everyone in your group. (Great tips on listening and speaking skills are on the Reading University website.)
5. Get regular rehearsals in. You might have a totally different idea about how the presentation will go down on the day to another person in your group. So, to avoid embarrassment, arrange rehearsals and address ideas early on.