Guidelines for Working in Groups

1. Groups tend to go through several stages. It can help to recognize these so that you can realize the frustrations may pass. Groups take some time to coalesce; then the dynamics of the group have to become routine; then there will normally be a temporary breakdown, where conflicts get aired that have to come out for there to be progress; finally, the group will reorganize with a new understanding of goals and responsibilities, with which everyone can work. This process is termed by one educational psychologist "FORMING--NORMING--STORMING--REFORMING." Don't be surprised if your group has to do this.

2. Here are some questions to ask yourself regularly to keep track of group progress:

Consider your own participation in the group's behaviors:

In order for the group to succeed, you will need to support each other's efforts. You should agree to work together as a group toward both individual and group goals, and you should agree to give and receive feedback with good-nature and good humor. Provide plenty of positive and some negative reinforcements for one another.

Back to Directions for Group Project.