- 10 Steps to Group Success -


1.  Take time to get acquainted---create a phone tree, exchange email, discuss individual schedules, break the “newness” tension.



2.  Decide on norms for group member behavior—how late is late? What should members do if they are going to miss a meeting? How many meetings can members miss?



3.  Clarify the task assigned. Review criteria in the assignment handout. Make sure you agree on what’s involved/expected. Ask the instructor when in doubt.



4.  Create structured meetings—have agendas that include action and/or discussion items with responsible group members names attached. Distribute agendas several days before meetings. Create timelines for the project.



5.  Create a supportive environment in the group—through verbal and nonverbal communication.


6.  Encourage participation of all members by having all members express ideas in a round robin method, using written comments, or rotating the recorder role.


7.  Decide by consensus rather than majority voting whenever possible. Be creative—combine ideas and find common ground.


8.  Discuss accountability measures—make sure all members are aware of rewards and penalties for their behavior. Deal with harmful trends quickly - non-supportive behavior does not “get better on its own.”


9.  Take time at the end of each meeting to assess progress, assign tasks and evaluate timelines. Be realistic in your assessments, groups that just hope things will “work out” do not generally succeed.


10.  Accept that groups go through natural stages of development—some of which are unpleasant and uncomfortable—refuse to be a victim to circumstance or other members’ problematic behavior; understand that the absence of conflict is a bad sign!