About working with others
Very few people study or work in complete isolation. Some courses now set projects and assignments that need to be completed in pairs or groups, either face-to-face or using e-conferencing. Even if a course of study does not formally require you to do this, working with others is an important part of your skills portfolio. Most jobs require you to work as part of a team, and employers value individuals who can demonstrate this.
In working on a work project or a study assignment with others – in pairs or in a group – you will be learning two different things at once. You will be learning about the task or project that you have been set and you will also be learning about how to work with colleagues. The methods you choose to use to communicate and work together will relate to your particular circumstances, but the processes are similar.
Each member of a group influences how that group operates, even if only by remaining silent. The success of the group depends largely on whether everyone is prepared to take some responsibility for how the group operates and whether everyone feels free to contribute fully. Group working skills are not the sort of skills you can learn just by reading about them. To develop the skills needed to be an effective team member you need to practise them in a group setting with a real task.
Working in a group is not just about getting a job done. It is about communicating effectively, contributing ideas and listening to those of others, and receiving feedback appropriately, keeping the level of interest and excitement going, and leading or following the lead as appropriate. To find out more about working in a team have a look at: Becoming an effective team member.