Sunday, 20 January 2013

Personalities in Group Assignments

Group Work/

Eight out every ten students you meet do not like group assignments. Many students loathe working in groups yet the lecturers seem to like this method of assessment perhaps because it reduces load of work especially in cases where the classes are large. Most students claim that group tasks are difficult to accomplish owing to the uncooperative nature of the group members. Scholars in Organizational Behaviour recommend that a group should have five members and if it goes overboard, then a maximum of seven members.
However, the groups have members of varying personalities and character which dictates success or failure of a particular group. Let’s walk through some of these personalities and characters you may have encountered in a group.
The Absentee: Like the name suggests, he/she never attends any of the group meetings. They tend to be arrogant and have a care-free attitude, never bothers with the task at hand. They think others were born to work for them. When the results are released they will be the first to criticize the group’s performance.
The Braggart: They usually think that they are genius and know more than other group members. He/she rudely interrupts other members with statements like “No! That’s wrong! Which book are you quoting from?” When giving examples he/she boasts about this and that. The bragging gets worse in instances that the group is dominated by one of either gender.
The Water Melon: These people have a tendency of attending one meeting and skipping the next one. They usually come late and leave early claiming that they have other ‘business’ to attend. When present, they participate in the group deliberations and somehow they tend to be humorous.
The Pumpkin: These people tend to just sit during group discussions with blank stares at the moderator. When asked a question or to contribute they are like “Hata sijui.Aki hiyo swali ni moto”. When the task is delegated they usually hand in a quarter of a page copy pasted from Wikipidia while the lecturer on the hand requires a minimum of thirty pages. However, pumpkins are loyal and committed to the group. They attend all the group meetings.
The Team player: He/she attends all meetings and comes on time. If he/she thinks that he/she will be caught up somewhere for whatever reason, he/she apologizes in advance. They participate fully in the discussion and is concerned about the group’s performance but fear responsibility.
The Moderator: He/she is commonly referred to as the ‘chairperson’ mainly because he/she leads the group discussion. He/she possesses the team player however takes responsibilities of the group affairs. He/she sees to it that the work has been done and is satisfactory.
The Lone Ranger: This category is quite different from those above. They usually don’t have groups as a result resort to do the group work single handedly. One thing that stands out in this category is that they are anti-social and as such have few or no friends at all.
As much as you love to hate it, group work is important. It is a litmus test of your interpersonal skills which is vital in organizations. Group work gives one an opportunity to develop our reasoning ability, communication skills and even boosting our self-esteem. So where do you fall?