By Holly Gordon
Finding my place
I’ve been wondering if working in groups will ever stop feeling like a foreign concept to me. In the three years of my degree, I worked on 2 group projects and the stress that came with them was nearly enough to put me off completely.
Fast forward 2 years and I have a film brief with a group of people that are all from different backgrounds with different skills and ideas and it feels like a different momentum has been found. It’s only day 5, so we are all still trying to get to know each other personally, but we are also beginning to know how each other work, which means navigating the group dynamic and finding your place within it.
Finding your place within a group can be difficult. I’ve realised I’m not the leader my horoscope (grain of salt but we all need some validation sometimes) always says I am, but I know I am a team player. I found myself following instructions and listening to other people in the group before voicing my own ideas. I enjoy fleshing out ideas and focusing on the details of it rather than being the person to speak first. I think this might change over time, as my confidence grows but I have a feeling I am getting to know where I am strongest when set with a group task.
One of my fears with group projects is the feeling of being useless. It is usually due to miscommunication but nevertheless, it’s not a position anyone enjoys being in. There is also the inner turmoil of knowing you may not be needed but feeling like you need to stay because it’s a group project. Realistically this can all be avoided by assigning set roles for people but I think that will come with practise. I also think asking to the leave so your own time isn’t being wasted is not something to be ashamed off, but we never fail to do this without feeling awkward.
I’m sure as the term goes on, group projects will become less foreign and more natural to me. I am not in the same mind-set as I was when I was 19, where even hearing the words ‘you’ll be working collaboratively’ sent a feeling of dread through me and the rest of my course. I am 24 and out of my comfort zone, and as uncomfortable as it makes me, I welcome it. I’m a listener who is learning to speak up, because we all deserve our ideas to be heard and I think I have some pretty good ones.