We all dread this form of assessment. Even the best team players and social butterflies can become stressed and agitated when put in a group and given a task that will count towards our individual degrees. It always seems deliberate and annoying when people will different levels of commitment are put into the same group, and it is in most ways, deliberate.
I for one am not saying that I do not experience difficulty with group work, because I do, however in hindsight it has always been an eye opening experience. It can teach you about the ways that other people work and also how you work with other people and what role you normally adopt within a team.
The stress of university group work will prepare you greatly for the working environment and remember, at university everyone will have different levels of motivation, however in a working environment the motivation is obviously payment. This means that university should be a much more stressful version of working as part of a team when you leave university. Therefore, if you can cope and come out of the other side of university group work, you will be able to handle employment group work with no problems.
The best ways to survive group work is to make sure that everyone has equal responsibilities and that one person doesn’t take all of the stress. Plan out the tasks according to everyone’s strengths and this should act as an extra form of motivation to do the work, if it is something that you are good at.
Make sure that you have regular meetings and do not always make these purely about work. You can always meet somewhere social like the café or in the pub to talk over the work in a more relaxing environment as long as the work actually gets done. This will help you to establish a good work/life balance, something that will come in very handy in the wider world!