Guest blogger Jen Probst is a sophomore at Boston University, majoring in Public Relations with a minor in Business Administration. She is a member of PRSSA and has an off-campus job.
- We've all dealt with them. The over controlling, time conscious member to the lackadaisical, "Let's just chill brah" member. Different personalities are what makes group project work hard to deal with at times. Jen offers advice on how to work with these type of team members.
1. The Bossy One
Everything always has to go their way and they dictate orders to the group. Working with people is not this person’s strong suit.
Tip: Focus on trying to put in your own ideas, so other members can have some control too. Voicing your opinion (in a polite manner!) will help this team member realize they need to consider others views.
2. The Lazy One
Everything a team doesn’t want: the one who will not complete their work and seems not to care. This can be really frustrating when you want the team to do well, and when your grade is on the line. This is probably one of the most difficult team members because you have to be able to motivate them!
Tip: Try to figure out why this team member isn’t contributing to the team and see if there is a way for them to take part in the project, maybe they aren’t sure what to do.
3. The Chatty One
The one who just won’t stop talking, about anything and everything. This can be a real problem when you want to get work done, and you want your meetings to end under an hour.
Tip: Simply tell the team member that the group needs to stay focused and on task. Drive their talking to the subject and maybe a good idea with come out of it. But the chatty one isn’t all bad, it is always a good idea to bond with your team because it allows you to understand each others strengths better, so think of planning an outside event where socializing would be perfect.
4. The Quiet One
The polar opposite of chatty, but this one still presents an issue. The one who just won’t contribute to any discussion. They can often be confused for the slacker.
Tip: Make sure this team member knows that all ideas are welcome in the team environment and they have nothing to be shy about. Encourage all to participate, even through online methods such as texts, tweets, emails, etc. Their idea could be the best one of the meeting!
5. The Busy One
Tip: Try and move group assignments and communications online. Just make sure that everything is clear, that way the whole group is on the same page even if you can't meet face-to-face.
- Let’s face it: you're going to run into at least one of these types of team members during a group project, so you might as well learn how to work with them! Plus, these personalities won’t just disappear, they are going to be your co-workers later in life; so think of this as a learning experience! The bottom line is: the best way to get everyone on the same page is to form a central group to keep everyone informed!
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