Ah, group projects. The bane of most students’ existence, especially if a presentation is involved. Have you noticed that teachers LOVE to throw presentations in the mix? Sometimes groups divide easily. That’s no accident. Group projects require specific roles filled by various personality types.
Overall, groups are generally comprised of two types: core and extended. Core members are essential to the delivery of information and work on the project full-time. The extended types are considered part-time project workers. Some members are action-oriented while others are people-oriented or thought-oriented. Whatever you lean toward could determine where you fit within the group.
Sometimes it’s a combination of personality types that create a cohesive, well-oiled collaboration. How many of these group members do you recognize?
They are quick to take the reigns and assign tasks to other members. They are excellent enforcers, keeping everyone on track, and they will take time out of their day to ensure that everyone understands what is expected of them.
The practical, well-organized, and efficient types who just want to get things done. They jump into team ideas by making them happen, however, because they want to get things done, this team member is usually reluctant to change anything in the project once it’s completed.
If there are any conflicts or issues (which let’s face it, almost always happens), this is the person you turn to for assistance, and they are usually more than willing to help resolve problems. They ensure that the group’s dynamics are fluid and positive. They’re not the most decisive people during the decision process because they don’t want to take anyone’s side. They uphold team-cohesion above everything else.
Get this person a laptop or textbook STAT. They have mad skills when it comes to researching necessary material. Most of the time you have no idea how they located what you needed, but you are sure glad they did.
This is the critical thinker. They are usually more cautious and serious because they evaluate every decision prior to actually choosing something … anything. It may take them longer to weigh the pros and cons; however, you will have a pretty sound reason why you should pursue one option over the other in the end.
These members love thinking outside of the box. They want to go above and beyond expectations by using original ideas that help the group overcome new challenges. They can be incredibly passionate, although at times misguided, and require an occasional reality check.
This person knows a lot about a specific topic, or they are amazing at one thing, so they utilize their knowledge and skills for the project, but are limited by what more they can contribute.
Generally, on the quiet introverted side. These members are happy to lend a helping hand if a group member is struggling.
They have an eye for detail, so they review… and review… and review the project to be certain that there are no grammatical, structural, or accuracy issues throughout their assignment.
We all know this person. They don’t feel any pressure to fulfill their portion of the project, and whether this is a result of an already-busy schedule or a lack of interest, they usually leave other group members to pick up their slack.
Based on past experiences, I think I may be a Helper/Team Worker/Finisher combination. Which group member type(s) do you most identify with?
If you’re looking for advice when you’re forced to work as a group, check out 4 Group Work Tips as Told Through Shrek GIFs.
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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.