The first excitement is gone and the study group has become business as usual.
You thought that the group work would be running smoothly when you had agreed on how everything was going to be. You were on the same page, but now you show your “true” sides and push the structures and rules you agreed on in the Forming phase.
The other people in the group might feel the same way as you.
There is a storm coming
There are frustrations and disagreements in the group that you don’t talk about. The situation is tense and a conflict might be underway. That is why you need to match your expectations continually, and you must remember to evaluate your teamwork. In that way, you can secure some better structures for the group to deal with possible disagreements.
When you begin to trust each other’s competences and you can deal with necessary discussions you are heading towards the Norming phase.
See Good advice on study group habits.
Who are you?
You each bring your own person and interests into your new shared education, and that makes it hard to agree all the time in the study group.
Differences are frustrating, but differences are also a gift for your study group. It means that you have strengths and weaknesses in different areas so you can help each other gain knowledge and competences as a group through each other’s personal strengths and interests.
Try Role types or My personal strengths
Remember to talk about the group work
Dig out your declaration of intent and talk about how you get the best out of your group meetings. Talk about the deals you made about your structures and roles.
How is your feedback culture? What can you do differently?
Find your declaration of intent and try to evaluate your group work using The Four Spaces
Most of us want agreement when we are with other people in a new group, but it is also natural to have disagreements when you get to know each other better and dare to show your subject knowledge and ambitions.
Disagreements can create turbulence and confusion in the group work, but conflicts over discussions on ideas, methods, and attitudes are healthy signs of both knowledge and commitment. And there are leaning potential in conflicts if you learn how to deal with them constructively and get through them well.
Keep the personal level out of it.
See 5 points to solving group conflicts and Group Work & Feedback
The material is made by The Student Guidance Service at the Faculty of Humanities based on Bruce Tuckman’s model “Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing.”
The exercises are made with inspiration from the books “Studiegruppen” by Annelise Dahlbæk and “Anerkendende procesøvelser” by Pia Halkier Bjerring & Annika Lindén.