Advice for a stress-free, equitable team experience.
Get to know each other
If you’re working with an unfamiliar group, take some time when you first meet to get to know each other- Where are you from? What’s your major? Not only will this increase your comfort level, it will help you begin to discover each other’s strengths.
Establish clear expectations
How often will we meet? What are our deadlines? Which communication channels are we using? Take some time to answer these questions as a group at the outset, to minimize stress and confusion down the road.
Divide tasks based on strengths
As a group, be honest about your abilities and weaknesses, then use this information to establish each person’s role in completing the project. Make sure that the workload is divided up evenly. Clearly understanding each person’s role and how it aligns with the overall goals of the project will maximize both efficiency and equity.
How should we communicate?
There are a number of different communication platforms designed for team use. Slack and GroupMe are two popular options that can be used on both wifi and cellular data. Chat with your group members about what they’ve used and liked in the past. Once you pick a channel, stick with it. Having everything in one place will make miscommunication less likely.
Maintain consistent communication
Once you’ve decided on a communication channel, utilize it to keep in touch with your group members on a regular basis. Use it to ask questions, check in on deadlines, and respond to each other in a timely manner. Effective and regular communication is key to a successful group project.
Hold each other accountable
If a group member hasn’t yet contributed their portion of the work, follow up with them. This interaction doesn’t need to be confrontational; simply check in with them and see if they need assistance. They may be dealing with extenuating circumstances preventing them from doing their share of the work. Be compassionate and communicative with your group members. Your success relies on their success.