For many students, teamwork only represents frustrations and wasted time. However, this activity is an essential reality of student and professional life. To be effective, teamwork requires good working methods. Well planned, teamwork is an enriching and rewarding experience.
THE FORMATION OF A TEAM
If you have the freedom to choose the members of your team, look for reliable people whose skills will complement each other. It may be tempting to favor his friends, but are these people the ones we will work with most seriously?
If the team is imposed, you have to be positive and open to others. The first meeting will be decisive in this respect.
THE FIRST MEETING
•Get to know
- Everyone presents themselves and gives their contact details (phone number and email address).
- We exchange schedules. Everyone shares the time they have. We choose a time for the meetings.
- Everyone makes known his abilities or skills related to the project.
• Choose a subject
- If the subject is not imposed, you must agree on a topic that interests all members of the team. It is desirable to discuss until a consensus is reached.
• Choose a collaboration platform
- Create a place of convergence and virtual discussion so that team members can work simultaneously on the document (Google drive, Dropbox, Facebook, etc.).
• Determine roles
- Coordination: the person is responsible for communicating with the teacher and among the other members of the team. She calls meetings and notifies members of last-minute changes.
- Animation: this person is responsible for the smooth running of the meetings. She ensures that the points are treated, gives the right to speak, enforces the rules that the team will give.
- Secretariat: the person is responsible for taking notes. She keeps the logbook.
• Assign tasks
- Establish the respective tasks of each member.
• Establish a schedule
- Establish a schedule of meetings with dates that can be reviewed during the project.
- Allow room for maneuver for handing over the work or for the presentation.
• Avoid multiplying meetings: everything can not be done in a team. However, hold enough meetings to prevent the work from becoming the mere juxtaposition of individual actions or texts.
• Set an agenda and set a clear goal per meeting. Example: distribution of tasks or roles, research reports, report readings, return on texts, repetition of the presentation, etc.
• End the meeting by scheduling the next meeting: the date, the place and the points to be dealt with.
• Establish rules of conduct from the start to resolve conflicts. For example, predict what will happen if a team member misses meetings or does not perform his duties.
• Express disagreement and dissatisfaction as you go, without waiting for the problem to become insurmountable. Take a tour of the table by inviting each member to express themselves on the problem. Find together a solution.
• As a last resort, seek the help of your teacher before it is too late.
• Writing a written text:
- Ensure that all team members follow the instructions and know the teacher’s requirements.
- Arrange the different parts of the text in a team to avoid giving the impression of a collage, a juxtaposition. To this end, provide transitions to move from one party to another, determine common layout standards, etc.
- Designate a person who will review the final version of the work.
• Presentation to an audience if applicable:
- Respect the basic rules of the oral presentation.
Plan at least one rehearsal with the required equipment (overhead projector, TV monitor, multimedia projector, etc.) before the oral presentation.
The ABCs of Teamwork
The participation of everyone is essential to the proper functioning of the team. In addition, it is important to create a good working atmosphere.
Here are some rules to follow:
• Be assiduous and punctual.
• Prepare individually for meetings.
• Express your point of view.
• Listen to and respect others’ point of view.
• Offer help and ask for help.
• Perform tasks in a timely manner.