Not All Group Members are Lazy

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Last semester, I was assigned a group project in a class where we had to create a PowerPoint presentation. We did our best to split up the work equally and decided on a due date for everyone to email their section into one member. However, when this date rolled around, one group member had not sent their email. I had experienced this problem before with other group projects and in these cases the group member was slacking and figured the rest of the group would finish his/her part for them. I immediately assume this was the same situation and my problem solving abilities were hurt by the "Salience of Surface Similarities" obstacle. I failed to look at the underlying issues to the problem. After talking with the group member, I realized they had spent a lot of time trying to finish their part, but did not understand the material and were embarrassed to ask for help. We were able to help this member with their section and left the experience with no hard feelings since we looked at the root cause of the problem instead of assuming the group member was simply slacking. Lack of communication is often a barrier in problem solving when it comes to groups. Research has shown communication to be a critical step towards problem solving since it removes assumptions and provides an opportunity for brain storming to come up with solutions.


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I think communication is big no matter what you are talking about. Whether its a group project, family situations, or a couple in a relationship. Communicating is never really a negative, in fact I think that more times than not it is a positive. In this case with the "lazy" member, as you said they weren't really lazy at all. The rest of the group just didn't realize what was going on. This of course due to the lack of communication, I completely agree.

I love how you focused on that point. Communication is key to all issues. If people would discuss the issue at hand before they assume so many more issues would not come up. To get personal every relationship I have had ends as a cause of poor communication. Maybe not directly but indirectly. Also an issue is miscommunication. Peoples perspectives and experiences give them a different way of understanding what was said.

The topic you chose to relate to salience of surface similarities is very interesting because it is something everyone in class, or in college for that matter, can relate to. We've all been forced to do group projects, when most of us would prefer not to. Don't get me wrong I'm very much a people person and enjoy working with people, but I've run into the "slacker" situation one too many times. In some situations I've run into more than one "slacker" in the group, which is always fun. Don't you love doing work and allowing others to reap the benefits?? Anyways, I agree with your stance on communication and how it can solve several different problems. I guess I've never tried to ask a group member why they weren't putting in as much effort or adding anything to the discussion. It very well could be that the person didn't understand what to do or how to go about it. If I would have communicated better with that member maybe I could have not only helped them understand, but they could in turn add some important input in the discussion and project.

This was an interesting post that I personal relate to and understand. Communication is very important for daily life and when someone is having a hard time understanding or can not communicate effectively it makes it impossible to problem solve. For example when there is a language barrier it makes it difficult to give simple directions or to ask for help. I have also been in group projects and have had that one individual that slacks, but for me every time it is the individuals fault. Now I know that may not be the case for every situation, but whether communication problems or just laziness it does bring attention to the issue.

I definitely agree that communication is so important in situations like this. I have had many group projects where there has been that one kid that doesn't do anything, and still gets the same amount of credit that you got. I think if this issue was way more talked about, it would help students and just everyone in their everyday life.

Communication and a group's overall success go hand in hand. Earlier this semester, I was assigned a group project in one of my classes that required us to redesign a coffee cup and give a presentation at the end. One of my group members who was a "social loafer," simply did not show up to the presentation, which, might I add, was a significant portion of our group's final grade. We were utterly astonished that he did not come to the presentation because he did not give us any warning--no email, no phone call, no text... nothing. He failed to communicate with us, and as a result, the group suffered.

Communication, especially in a group setting, is absolutely essential. I am still surprised when I come across people who lack good communication skills because, in this day and age, communication is such an important part of the way we all do business. The sooner people realize this fact, the better.

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This page contains a single entry by besse066 published on March 24, 2012 11:20 AM.

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