Group projects are part of everyday life for every college student. The groups can be big, the groups can be small, but the group projects will always be there.
With group projects comes group dynamics. An interesting aspect if you ask me. In the beginning everybody is a little shy, while at the end of the project your group partners can be your best friends, or your worst enemies.
A fun part of group dynamics is watching how decisions are made. When a group needs to come up with ideas, whether this is a full classroom or a group of just a couple of people, the first idea is always the hardest.
Once the first idea came up, the ideas will start rolling and the team is good to go.
Jon Bell explains this as the ‘McDonald’s Theory.’
There’s no defined process for all creative work, but I’ve come to believe that all creative endeavors share one thing: the second step is easier than the first. Always.
When his team does not know where to go for lunch Jon always suggests McDonald’s. This is of course not possible according to his colleagues, they come up with better alternatives.
You can try this as well in your group project. If your team is trying to come up with a point of view for a project, make the most ridiculous suggestion and see where it will take you and your team.
I do this by thinking extreme. When brainstorming, I introduce my standpoints like ‘I know this is never going to work, but what if we …’ Sometimes the group laughs, sometimes the group starts to make fun of me, but almost all of the time we make some progress. Looking for a speaker for your event? ‘I know this is never going to work, but what if we could get the prime minister to speak?’ People will laugh and we end up with a great event and a great speaker.
After putting this to the test with your group project, see if you can apply this to your own life as well. Starting is the hardest part of every task. Just start, it doesn’t have to be good, and you will see result.
So, where should we go for lunch today?
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