The Ingredients of a Good Group

By Kimberly Garcia
Blog Content Contributor

This semester, I knew I was going to have two groups in two different classes. I was a bit nervous because group projects are always a risk. Sometimes the people click and it’s smooth sailing throughout the project and other times, it’s like pulling teeth– long and painful. I was lucky enough to have both groups work together to get our complete our projects. I noticed that there were certain components to having a group that can successfully achieve a common goal.

Ingredients to a Good Group Caption
GroupMe is a great app to keep all group members in the loop about what major updates have occurred. Screen grab courtesy of Kimberly Garcia.

Accountability

Everyone should know their own responsibility to contribute so that there are no areas of an assignment that are forgotten. If one of the group members is unable to complete their task because life happens, then another one of the group members should be ready to cover their part so that the project doesn’t suffer. Having accountability in the group ensures that the ball is never dropped because someone is always ready to catch it.

Awareness

All the members should be aware of areas that might need support or questions that might need to be answered. This is especially important when turning in benchmark updates. Everyone should know all the factors that are a part of the project in case they need to assist in another area. Being aware establishes credibility in the group because they know the assignment like the back of their hand and can prove so when asked questions or when they need to address concerns.

Flexibility

When multiple people are involved in putting something together, it can sometimes feel like there are too many hands in the pot, but this is where you should take time to see why each person is important for your group. With many ideas and opinions, you must remain open to hearing all suggestions mentioned by your other members. Being flexible also sets a tone of acceptance. When you agree to hear all ideas, it may lead someone who may not usually suggest something to offer up a solution. It is also important to take under consideration the ability of each member. Group projects offer many opportunities to learn from others. So, if one group member is not as knowledgeable about the field the project specializes in, it can allow the strongest member to give them the chance to learn more.

Dedication

If there is one group member who cares about the performance of the project and how well it sits with the bosses, they are clearly dedicated to the cause. Sometimes, there may be group members that have other priorities that may supersede the project they are a part of. The level of commitment each group member has to the project is also a factor in how well the project is executed.

Sometimes, one of these factors may weigh more than others, depending on the mix of people participating, but each bring something different to the table. It is important to know that each member has something to offer in the group and that just because they may not seem capable, doesn’t mean that they can’t learn or try to contribute as much as another member.

Featured image by Megan Bandstra.

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