Multiple (Group) Personalities

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By Hannah Park > Senior > Journalism > University of Maryland, College Park

Even the simplest groups projects can be stressful when group members’ personalities clash. Take a look at CM’s glossary of group personalities and follow our tips on how to keep it together and make the grade.


O-ver-ach-ie-ver: This organization-freak takes on all responsibilities of the group in order to maintain control in the pursuit of nothing short of an “A.”

Tip: Offer to be in charge of an aspect of the project that you are familiar with; this will help to spread responsibilities and stay involved.

Sla-cker: (i.e., freeloader) Grinning from ear-to-ear at the announcement of a group project, the slacker takes delight in doing what they do best—absolutely nothing.
Tip: Keep your cool when dealing with a slacker by dividing workloads evenly and making sure everyone adheres to deadlines.

Dict-a-tor: The militant take-charge voice of the group. This personality tends to shut down all other ideas, thus overshadowing those who are reluctant to voice their opinions.
Tip: Avoid conflict by keeping open dialogues from the start—encourage every group member to share an opinion on every aspect of the project so no one gets overlooked.

One-day won-der: The person who shows up to the first meeting and becomes MIA when grunt-work begins to accumulate. Once the paper has to be turned in or the presentation is hours away, this member suddenly decides to make up for lost time—too little, too late, of course.

Tip: Make sure every group member has everyone’s contact information, and set a schedule for meetings from the very start. This way no one has an excuse for being out of the loop.

Bu-sy-bo-dy: Not everyone is a slacker—what about those who simply have too much on their plate?

Tip: Online communication is the best way to deal with a multi-tasker—try scheduling separate meetings with this elusive member to keep them updated on the workload.

Which group personality are you?

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College Magazine Staff

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