In university and high school, I often have (and had) to do projects and assignments together with a group of people. These can be really fun, but sometimes there are just too many things going wrong…
- You get put in a group in which you know nobody. That is usually where the problem starts, if you’re in a group with people you know, you know what to expect and you know it’s okay to tell them they did something wrong.
- The groups that are usually worst for me is groups with people from different majors that don’t have the experience you do. I have quite some experience in writing scientific articles, doing statistical analyses, things like that. But most people outside my major have never ever done any of those things, so either you have to explain it to them, which takes time, or you do it yourself, which takes (a bit) more time, but means you don’t have to correct other people all the time. I usually do the last one, but I should do the first.
- People tend not to do their work on time, or at all. I once had a group mate that hadn’t done anything until the day of the deadline, but then it was 30 minutes before we had to hand it in, and there was still nothing. He wouldn’t respond to my texts so I called him and he said was in the supermarket. He was just doing some shopping. Seriously? He didn’t even know that the deadline was in 30 minutes!
- Other people are sloppy sometime, so you have to take the time to remove spelling errors, change odd sentences or rewrite things that don’t make sense.
- I have my own way of doing things, and I often don’t like that other people do it differently. I know this sounds a little mean, but I’m a perfectionist when it comes to these things.
- “Splitting the work”. A) it is never done equally, there are always people that have to do more and people that have to do less. B) when you split the work, people tend to only do their part and not even look at the rest. You have to explicitly ask them to read your part and ask them if it is good. This happens a lot.
The reason for me writing this blog post is because I am just finishing up two assignments with a pretty bad group. People who don’t do their work on time, bad communication.. That last one is also awful, but doesn’t really belong to the list. If you ask a question in a group chat, you expect them, or at least one person, to answer. But of course they don’t. *ugh*
But of course there are also bright sides to working in a group! You get to know new people, maybe even make some friends, it is less work, it more fun to work together and you can brainstorm and help each other out when it gets hard. I love working with my friends together on a project, and sometimes when you finish something you can be so proud of your work and you can share that, so that is awesome!
Do you also have bad or good experiences with working in groups?