Group Projects and Teamwork: How to Master Them Both

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by Katie Torres

When I was in high school, I dreaded the group project.

Part of this was due to my natural comfort zone being within the range of, well, just myself.

I liked being alone; I liked working alone. The thought of working with others on any sort of project would automatically lead toward feelings of resentment for the whole project.

It wasn't necessarily that I wanted to do all the hard work by myself, or that I didn't like other people.

But if I had an idea in my mind, I wanted to go with that idea.

And, what if someone in my group didn't do their share of work? I wasn't about to take a poor grade because someone else dropped the ball. That didn't seem fair to me.

And even more so, I was afraid of dropping the ball myself and disappointing the other people in my group.

I had to learn teamwork.

I had to realize that, as great as my ideas are, other people may have ideas that are just as great, if not better. And if I don't give them a chance, then we're all going to suffer a lower grade.

I had to understand that when others drop the ball and miss deadlines, it can't be an excuse for the whole group to fail.

If I knew this back then, I would have simply prepared for any weakness in the group's plan. I would have taken 100% ownership for the entire project - not just my own little piece. 

I had to grow in trust with other people. First, I had to trust that even if I did fail, my group would still be there to support me. But more than that, I had to learn that good teamwork includes great accountability. 

And with that great accountability AND my taking 100% ownership, I really couldn't go wrong.

Teamwork is the key to any group's success.

At Envoy, it also happens to be one of our core values. And in practice, it truly works. Our success and growth is evidence of that.

So whether you're back in school or have a project to complete at work, put these principles into practice. They'll save you from many mistakes and frustrations down the road.