Group Work Skills

Group Work Skills

Working with others provides an opportunity to learn, explore communication skills and build confidence.

Working co-operatively creates opportunities to share ideas, gain extra perspectives, tap into a wider pool of experience, stimulate each other’s thinking, clarify your own thinking and realise there are more dimensions, and answers to a question.

Effective group management

Make ground rules

You should arrange a regular time to meet. Discuss what to do if someone dominates or does not pull their weight. Be open and honest about what kinds of behaviour or comments are unacceptable.

Set clear agendas and boundaries

Be clear about the purpose of the group and each meeting. Set an agenda and decide on how long to spend on each item. Be clear that meetings are for work and limit socialising. Arrange meeting times and venues in advance, so that everyone can attend.

Check progress

If the group does not appear to be working well, address this directly and promptly. Each person should say how they feel and what can be done to improve things. Consider these questions: Are tasks shared fairly? Is somebody dominating the group? Are you considerate enough about each other’s feelings and ideas?

Task allocation

Be clear. Be fair. Set deadlines for completion and action.

Group roles

Define group roles early. For example, Team Leader or Timekeeper. Make sure each member is informed and clear about their role.

Sharing responsibility

Each member is responsible for their own actions. However, every member shares the responsibility for sorting out any problems within the group.