by Denna Dom, freshman Napa New Technology High School.
Over the course of the last few weeks, my Digital Design class was tasked with creating a video in Epic Movie about Fair Housing for our client, Napa Valley Fair Housing. I was placed in a group with Eva C., Tony G., and Donovan B., and I think that we all did very, very well in terms of collaboration. Here’s a pretty good method to having a great team.
1. Get Acquainted With Each Other.
Luckily for me, Eva and Tony went to my middle school, so I already knew them pretty well. As for Donovan, I’ve interacted with him from time to time, so we weren’t really introducing ourselves.
Aside from that, when getting a new team, it’s always really good to get acquainted with one another, in order to break that social awkward feeling of working with strangers.
Introduce yourself, and maybe talk about your interests or ideas for the outcome of the project.
2. Start Sharing Ideas
Give each person the ability to share their own ideas. If someone doesn’t want to share anything, don’t pressure them to. Ask them later, maybe in 10 minutes or so. My team member, Tony, didn’t share a lot of ideas at first. But once we got the ball rolling with ideas, he then began to share some of his own, it just took him a few minutes.
If the project you are working on is more of a serious one, try not to share “funny” ideas, and try not to encourage others to make comedic ideas either.
Give everyone time to share, don’t hog all the speaking time, and try to give nice, calm feedback to everyone. Also, try to be respectful of everyone’s ideas. Don’t just shut down someone’s idea just because you don’t like it. Think about it for a little bit, maybe give some feedback, then move on.
3. Conflict Resolution.
If one of your teammates is being problematic, or even if you are being a little bit troublesome yourself, you and your team might have to work through some conflict resolution.
If you notice someone on your team not behaving like they should, you shouldn’t react immediately. Give them a minute to realize they’re doing something unhelpful, and return to a more helpful state. If they continue to do it more than once, then maybe you should politely ask them to stop with that behavior. If they react negatively, let it go for a bit and continue to work with the rest of your team. If this behavior continues, maybe get a teacher involved.
Eva got a bit snippy with me in my group experience, but she eventually calmed down and I didn’t have to get a teacher involved, luckily.
4. Finish the project with a good attitude!
As you finish up your project, try to be kind to everyone and listen. Sometimes conflicts arise just before the end, and you might have to jump through hoops, but try to keep a calm composure and finish the project strong. Remember the key points:
- Be Calm
- Share good ideas, and give even better feedback.
- Be patient with others.
I hope you enjoyed my tips and tricks to working with groups!
This blog originally appeared on Denna Dom.