1. Take time to get acquainted – Create a support system, exchange email and phone data, discuss study groups, support, etc.
3. Clarify the task assigned – Review criteria in the assignment handouts. Ask the instructor.
4. Create structured meetings – Create procedures and roles for problem solving process. Keep track of timelines for the process.
5. Create a supportive environment in the group—through verbal and nonverbal communication
6. Encourage participation of all members – make sure all members express themselves, use a round robin method if necessary. Be willing to pick, and listen to, a leader if one is needed.
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 expectations of preparedness and responsibility for their own behavior /performance. Don’t let one person dominate the discussion.
9. Take time at the end of each exercise to assess progress, assign tasks and evaluate timelines and procedures
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 member’s problematic behavior; understand that the absence of conflict is a bad sign!