In my World Studies class, I was assigned a group to do a “Theater of War” project where we performed a readers theater script that we put together ourselves about World War 1, 2, and the Interwar periods. I think that we totally rocked our performance and we did great with the content that we used in our script, but I do believe that we could have been better at collaboration. So, I’m going to give you a few tips and tricks so that the next time you’re on a team, you will have the tools necessary to create the perfect team who will all contribute to your discussions and give you their full attention in group meetings.
When you notice a teammate missing the deadline or making small talk during class, don’t be afraid to tell them that it's not ok. And this goes for your whole team. If you don't like that one minute you're talking to everyone during a team meeting and then the next you're talking to an empty chair minus 6 of your teammates, maybe you should make a rule that your team members can't leave while a team meeting is in session. Setting boundaries is extremely important because if neither you nor the people that you are working with know what ticks you off, a bomb is bound to explode, and it’s going to be everyone's fault.
I will say the toughest thing about this step is when you are completely in panic mode trying to get everything done fast as possible, it’s really hard to slow down or even notice that you are in panic mode about to fight everyone around you. Alot of times you just want to stay in denial or say that you don't have enough time because it’s too much to actually stop and think. But after you stop, check in with your team, and breathe… you find out that even in the eye of the hurricane, one can find peace.
If you follow all of these steps to creating the perfect team, you will end up with a fantastic collaborative outcome that will put a smile on your face, your teams face, and most importantly, your teacher's face. Good luck! And don’t forget; Slow breathing and a team meeting cures all crunch-time panic!