How do you feel when you’re assigned to work on a team project? Do you feel anxious about not being in complete control of the end-product? Do you secretly wish that you could just do the project yourself?

If that sounds like you, it’s likely that you find team projects to be a little challenging. Trying to control every aspect of a group project can be difficult, stressful, and sometimes impossible. You could end up taking on an unmanageable amount of work (because you don’t really trust anyone else to do it). And you could end up annoying your teammates who may not appreciate your attempts to take charge and make all of the decisions.

So what should you do if you like to be in control but you need to work with a team? Follow these four steps:

  1. Identify your shortcomings – No one is perfect. Even though you’re probably awesome in many ways, there are almost certainly areas in which your skills are not as strong. Recognize that there may be other people on your team who are more capable in those areas.
  2. Admit to your need for control – Be honest with your teammates about how you like to be in control. And ask them to reign you in if you start to go too far. They’ll appreciate your honesty and help to keep you in check.
  3. Recognize that there is more than one way to do something – You might have a preferred way of doing things. But there are probably other approaches and techniques that would work just as well. Try to be open to the way other people do things. If you feel like someone is using the wrong approach, make sure you fully understand what that person is doing before expressing your concerns (or trying to take over).
  4. Use your powers for good – There are certainly areas in which YOU are the expert and in which you really should be in control. Figure out what those areas are, and focus your efforts on them. You’ll feel good about the contributions that you’re making and the whole team will benefit from your efforts.

 

Boogaard, K. (n.d.). The control freak’s guide to being a team player (because this isn’t a high school group project). The Muse. Retrieved from https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-control-freaks-guide-to-being-a-team-player-because-this-isnt-a-high-school-group-project

 

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