How to Work in a Small Group

How many of you have had to work in a small group?

Whether it was for a school project, for work or on a team, everyone at some point in time has had to work in a small group.

Here are some effective ways to have the greatest small group experience:


1. Know Your Group Members

How many times have you been suckered into a small group where you knew none of the other group members?

This is a common scenario. Many times, the goal of a small group is to take people out of their comfort zones to teach them how to communicate and work with other people who differ in background, gender, race and ideas. This is why it is imperative that you take the time and effort to get to know your group members.

Get to know each person's strengths, weaknesses, abilities and personalities. This will help the group to be more cohesive, and establish a bond within the group that will make it easier to work together. 


2. Be Organized!

Organization is a key priority when working with other people. Establishing methods and routines within the group will create a flow and establish responsibility within the group. 

This means: set up a weekly schedule, delegate roles and responsibilities to each group member, and have an organized way of handling and storing records. When the group is well-organized, priorities become apparent, and real work is able to get done in a more efficient way.

Disorganization leads to chaos, lack of responsibility, and flaring of emotions. If certain tasks do not get handled and picked up by one of the other group members, problems can arise and escalate quickly. You don't want to leave room for problems to spring up and occur due to not having a plan or an organized way of working together. 


3. Communicate

Communication is an effective and necessary tool to have in any type of small group. It is important to communicate within the group, as well as outside of the group with co-participants such as professors, coaches or bosses - depending on which type of small group you are in.

You want to communicate and agree on a team leader if necessary, and also what role each group member will take. Depending on each person's skills and abilities, roles and responsibilities should be delegated appropriately. This tip is why it is important to get to know your group members. 

You will also want to communicate with your group members about any prior responsibilities or engagements you may have, to avoid conflict. Most issues in small groups occur when there is a failure in communication. 


4. Know Your Part and Deliver

Know your part and your specific role in your small group. Everyone must take responsibility and ownership of their part on the team. Know what it is you are suppose to do - and do it. Even if another member of the group fails on their end, it is still your responsibility to deliver your part on your end.

This role-ownership idea builds discipline, and you learn the skills and techniques needed to excel in future small groups and organizations.

Small groups are assembled at work, at school and on the field, so wherever life takes you, learn how to work in a small group. 


Hope these quick tips help you in your next small group experience.



Thanks for reading. 

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Published by Crystal Ngumezi


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