Don’t be Afraid of Group Work

5 Ways to overcome the fear of group work.

By Jieqiu Zhang

As a communication primary student, I have been in many classes that require group work, some of which will serve as my final exams. I often rejoice in this because I love it, but many friends tell me they are reluctant or even afraid to do group work. Because group work is the same as “socializing.” And for them, such forced socialization is very difficult.

What are the benefits of group work?

1: Group work can improve communication skills

Group work can be carried out smoothly depending on whether the members can communicate effectively. In the process of each group cooperation, each group member has a corresponding task, and then a unified discussion is held according to everyone’s different opinions. Therefore, communication can help the group identify problems, solve them quickly, and complete the work well.                   

2. Group cooperation enhances human thinking ability

This is common sense: people are always used to thinking by themselves, but often the results will be full of holes! Therefore, the meaning of several people working together is to be able to propose different ideas; each person can get exercise and improve from other people’s thinking. And to understand the way not thought of before, the mind will become more active and agile.

3. Group work is an integral part of career development

Group Work is the most crucial point for every student, including myself. Everything you learn in school is to pave the way for your future career. And group work is a model that will continue into the workplace. Whether it’s a large meeting or a group of just a few people, having the ability and courage to work in a group can make things run more smoothly. This ability is also an asset when looking for a job.

Five ways to overcome the fear of group work

1: Take a public speaking course

The root cause of many people’s fear of group work is that they are afraid to speak up, so public speaking courses are a very effective way to exercise. People learn how to make presentations in front of the public and practice them. This fear of speaking in front of others will naturally be dispelled.

2. Active Listening and giving feedback to others

Many people’s fear of group work comes more from the fear that they won’t be able to do a good job or will cause dissatisfaction with other group members. Group work is straightforward; each person needs to listen carefully to the other group members to speak and give opinions; even if others have different views from yours, you can also provide timely feedback and express their ideas. Such behavior can make others feel respected and valued and will be proof of active participation in group cooperation.

3. Try to answer questions actively in the classroom

Answering the professor’s questions positively helps one exercise one’s thinking skills and ability to communicate and exchange ideas about a problem promptly. In the classroom, professors often throw out questions for students to think about and answer, and many people are afraid to answer even if they have the answer. But it does not matter whether the answer is correct; whether they have thought about it and whether they can give their reasons and opinions, and such a thinking process also applies to group work. So if you speak up more in class, you’re developing habits that will translate to group work.

4. Chat with group members

As mentioned at the beginning, group work is a form of “socialization, ” In many cases, you and your group members can develop a cooperative relationship and a friendship. You can chat with your group members to bring them closer to each other when you are not in a group meeting. This way, you won’t feel intimidated when conducting meetings because you are no longer “strangers” to each other.

5. Find your place in the group

It’s okay to be afraid of speaking because everyone in the group has a different role. The “recorder” is a very suitable position for fear of speaking; the person who takes this position is responsible for recording the content and progress of each group meeting; the recorder needs to understand the technical language of the group and be able to summarize and write down only what is essential.  So even if you are afraid to speak, it does not matter; everyone can find their position in group cooperation!

Leave a Reply