Personal Experience of Working in Groups Essay

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Reflection is often used to look back on events or past experiences that have shaped who we are as a person today. Reflection allows for a deeper understanding when it comes to thoughts about actions and communication within certain situations. This semester, I was allowed to work within a group to deliver a workshop providing the audience with information about Effective communication with clients from a cultural background different from your own. I use the 4Rs of reflection to demonstrate my understanding of how our group delivered this presentation and my reflections about this experience. I will also focus on the group processes that were used at this time such as group roles and cohesion.

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Groups were formed for this presentation based on our personal preferences for the topics provided. Therefore, when we were placed into groups, we were surrounded by those who had an interest in the topic, unlike some assignments where topics and groups were allocated randomly. Our group consisted of six members, all of different ages, cultural backgrounds, lifestyles, and personalities. I am comfortable working within a group and find it easy to get in and get a task finished. Though, one of our team members was very shy and didn’t often speak unless spoken to, another was very loud and outgoing, we had two members who were hard-working and natural leaders; meanwhile our last group member found it hard to stay on task at times. Our group aimed to meet at least once a week outside tutorials, however sometimes this was not possible due to clashing timetables and work commitments for some members. However, we had 8 meetings in total over the semester and within those meetings that did take place they often went for about an hour and work was usually delegated and discussions took place. Our first meeting was most intensive as decisions were made regarding the mode of presentation and roles that suited our strengths.

As a group, we got along well and had reasonable cohesion. All members were happy with their tasks and completed them on time with all members meeting task deadlines. There were no major conflicts or arguments however sometimes it was challenging for some group members to remain task-focused. Half the group wanted meetings to get work done while others thought this time would be good to have a conversation about issues within their personal life. This made it hard to get work done and often other meetings had to be arranged to compensate for that missed opportunity. However, work was completed to a high standard with many rehearsals taking place in preparation for the presentation. The presentation was produced to a high standard in my opinion as everyone remained professional, stuck to the plan, and worked together to produce a well-presented workshop.


In the past, I have generally had good experiences working within groups. I have played team sports from a young age so my development of working in groups started quite early for me. I did many group assignments and other group tasks in high school, so group assignments are nothing new to me. However, I find it easy to work within a group but prefer when tasks are assigned to each individual rather than the whole group doing one task together as then I know my work will be up to my standards.

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Since I started university, the experiences I’ve had working in groups have not always been positive. I have worked in groups that have been dysfunctional as meetings never took place, communication was only via messages or email, and not everyone was willing to compromise on decisions. I learnt from this that to do group work compromises need to be made regarding group roles and assignment of tasks. I’ve also learned to respect that not everyone has the same opinions and to not make anything personal, to keep it professional.


Two group processes that impacted heavily on our group’s communication were cohesion and group roles. In groups where there is a large task to complete or for a group to work together successfully, assigning roles may be necessary. Sometimes these roles can be allocated naturally due to personalities and strengths, however, assigning individual roles can be beneficial to ensure work is completed (The University Of Queensland, 2019). Group roles often relate to a certain behavior or result that is expected from each group member (Northwest University, 2019). For example, if your role was to create a PowerPoint for a presentation, the expectation from the group would be that this was completed by the deadline. To be successful in working in a group, roles are designated due to a group’s members' strengths and ensure that their prior knowledge is capitalized and used appropriately (Hazelwood & Shakespeare-Finch, 2014). Group roles can also link to group cohesion as the roles assigned usually relate to a common goal shared as a group and this can bring forward a feeling of belonging (Lumen Learning, 2019). Cohesion can also be seen in groups as a force to keep groups together or an encourager for those feeling uneasy about being in a group (Hazelwood & Shakespeare-Finch, 2014).

For our group, although we had individual roles there was only a somewhat feeling of cohesion. We each had our roles and tasks that we decided due to personal preferences and strengths. There were on some occasions different opinions about which individual belonged to each role or task but mostly the group's communication regarding roles was adequate. To start with our group had great communication and cohesion working together to ensure we completed all work and tasks on time. However, moving forward in the semester, there was a lack of communication between members about tasks so trying to create a presentation that demonstrated cohesion was difficult as most of the time there was not any. There were also contrasting views of what standard of work our group was producing which meant that there was a feeling of being disjointed. However, it was evident moving closer to the finished product our group came together with their designated roles and tasks to produce a well-presented finished product.


Drawing on this experience, I have learned how important it is to have adequate communication between group members to allow for cohesion within a group. This allows for everyone to be on the same page regarding tasks but also to ensure the finished product is something that all members are happy with. I felt that our group was on different pages regarding what type of presentation we wanted to present and how we were going to do it. The process was very rushed, I felt that we just came up with an idea and stuck with it, without consultation with other group members who were not present to hear their views. This meant that the cohesion was lacking from very early on. This will be a challenge for me moving forward in my career as a health information manager as I will be constantly working in teams. In this profession, decisions need to be made and consultations need to be had, so therefore I will need to learn to consult those around me before rushing into ideas and decisions. I will have people working with, above and below me so communication will be a major part of my profession therefore I will need to develop my skill of communicating in a group further if I am to be successful.


Working and communicating in groups is something that unfortunately cannot be avoided in life. Therefore, learning appropriate communication styles and behaviors are things that can help us understand how to successfully work in a group. Particularly learning how to maintain group cohesion and using group roles are highly important when working in groups. If group roles and cohesion were non-existent it would be very hard to successfully work towards or accomplish a goal. I have learned from this experience the skills I will further need to develop to be successful in my future career and how to foster the skills I already have. I have learned from this experience that how we communicate and come together as a group can determine the outcome of a finished product and can affect our personal opinions of group work.

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Personal Experience of Working in Groups Essay. (2024, February 28). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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