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Tips for successful group work

Group work success depends on how you behave and interact and also the mechanisms you put in place to complete group tasks. Do the following to achieve success as a group.

Establish group goals early

Your goals will guide group activity so these need to be agreed by all members and established early.

Agree ways of working

There are common factors that need to be considered so each member knows how the group works as a collective. Work through the following prompts to formulate ways of working.

  • How will we communicate?
  • What is the expected time frame to provide feedback to group members?
  • How often will we meet?
  • How will we record what happens in meetings?
  • Who will take minutes for our meetings?
  • Who will communicate with the lecturer on our behalf if needed?
  • How will we resolve issues that might arise?

Engage in constructive conversations

Challenging others is healthy as it develops your critical thinking skills. If you do challenge others or the way in which the group is moving, suggest a solution that will move the group closer to achieving its goals. See resources on giving peer feedback for more information.

Appreciate diverse perspectives

We are all diverse and bring different perspectives. Take time to learn more about other perspectives, particularly if working with people from other countries as there are cultural nuances that can easily be misconstrued. Seek clarity if their perspectives are unclear.

Establish and maintain cordial relationships

We won’t always get along with others but groups are brought together to achieve a common purpose. When communicating in groups, keep your tone relaxed and informal and be respectful of others’ opinions. See resources on netiquette for specific communication tips.