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Group Work

Factlet: In life you will be expected to work with others and successfully complete tasks. At interview you may well be asked about how you perform in a group.

5 things you need to know...

Working in groups is easier to do if you have an understanding of how groups work and how you can influence outcomes.  Getting the most out of group work involves understanding that:

1. Groups are predictable they go through the following stages: - Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Mourning (Tuckman 1965). Once you know the dynamics of how they work you can start anticipating and preventing problems
2. People behave predictably - there are 9 main roles people take on in a group – they each have their strengths and weaknesses (Belbin 2011).  Groups work best if you know your own preference and understand the others (see factsheets for more information)
3.Your behaviour influences the group - groups are made of individuals, if each person listened, respected, contributed, supported the others then many problems would be avoided. Ensure your behaviour in the group encourages, respects and supports others . Ensure that you are inclusive and include everyone in the discussions and decisions.
4.Be positive - positive energy needs to be generated,  be positive with teammates. Do not be negative, defensive or cliquey. Make a conscious decision to be inclusive and supportive. This way others will take your lead and the group will stay focused and enthusiastic. Never talk about the group outside the group.
5.At the start of the project - agree some rules that accommodate everyone: When to meet? How often? Agree a task schedule. Come prepared, make sure all group members contribute and agree.

LinkedIn Learning Resources

linkedin learning promotional imageLinkedIn Learning offers online courses and videos to support a wide range of personal, technical and creative skills.

Have a look at our Working in Groups Collection for some recommended resources.

Need to know more...

We have produced resources to help you to develop your skills in this area.  You will find a factsheet on this topic below, plus others you may find useful.  See also the Online and Books tabs above.  

Related factsheets

Conflict is difficult  (2016) Conflict Resolution  (accessed 2 September 2019)

Mindtools (2017): Managing conflict  Available at: (accessed 2 September 2019)

Need more advice?

You can also discuss your development of this skill with a member of the Academic Skills Team.

Make an appointment for an online discussion or email support  by using our online booking form.

Personalising your device and using assistive tools

There are many assistive technology tools which can help you choose how you want to access material and these can really improve your productivity.

The University has made some applications available on the student PCs within the library and IT Centres; others are free for you to download and use on your own devices (phone, tablet, laptop or computer) .  Find out more on our personalising standard software guide and our assistive tools and software guide.