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Miss Emma Dilemma: Group members who don't do their fair share

"I’m working on a group project and one group member is just doing their own thing without considering the rest of the group. We’ve tried talking to them, but it doesn’t change anything. What else can I do? I’m worried about failing if we can’t come together."

If you’ve tried discussing the behaviour of the group member but nothing seems to be working, there are other options.

  • Use your language well. State the behaviour of the group member that is not working for you in the context of the way it makes you feel. Avoid “you” statements and opt for ones that start with “I”. For example, instead of “You never discuss with us what you’re working on. You’re so rude and a bad team player,” try saying “I feel confused when I find that you’ve worked on something without discussing it with the group. Could you please text the group chat next time you’d like to work on something we haven’t discussed?”

  • Make sure that there is an easily accessible platform for communication to occur. A group chat on messages or Whatsapp that provides notifications to each team member is a great place to start.

  • Create a task-list with a timeline. Distributing tasks amongst the group ensures that everyone is clear on what they are required to do and when. Additionally, straying from the task-list may not happen so often and it provides evidence as to who did not do their fair share later.

  • Speak with your professor or supervisor. If nothing seems to be working, extra help may be required.


About the Author

Miss Emma Dilemma

Hey everyone, I am Miss Emma Dilemma from Healthy U! I am here to help answer your student related health and wellness questions and get you out of your dilemma!

Keep an eye on our Instagram page @healthyuofm for the next time we start accepting inquiries for each topic!


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