Why I Hated Group Projects
As both a child and teenager, group projects were the bane of my existence. I hated working with other people. It wasn’t necessarily the people (though to be completely candid, that often didn’t thrill me either), it was the work. I always felt like I was doing all the tasks (or at least more than my fair share). I tended to be the one who was compiling and editing, and the one who burned the midnight oil when someone else wasn’t doing their part – or at least that’s how I felt.
It wasn’t until I actually completed an Everything DiSC® assessment that I recognized that not everyone was the same type as I was (What can I say? I was a teenager and the world revolved around me…).
I’m a high C on the DiSC wheel. I fall under the “Conscientious” category, which is probably why I spent so much extra time and energy on group projects when some of my team members weren’t going to put in the same effort. That is also probably why I spent so many years, and projects, being frustrated beyond belief.
My “C” DiSC Priorities
- Ensuring accuracy
- Maintaining stability
- Offering challenge
I took my first DiSC assessment about a year ago. I wasn’t surprised by the results once I started reading the qualities associated with those in the C style. For better or worse, it was pretty spot-on with how I viewed myself. And in talking to my family, it accurately reflected how they viewed me as well.
A Little DiSC History
At this point, the foundational theory of the DiSC assessment is about 76 years old and it is equally as true today as it was then. The wheel itself might look different than it did when it was first used in 1948, but the general ideas behind it have remained more or less the same. DiSC still stands for Dominance, influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.
Just think of the value of something that has been shown to be that consistent for that long.
A Lesson Learned
So when I think back on group projects in school (and about how much I hated them), I think about how much more tolerable they might have been if I had been able to consider everyone else’s DiSC types. I may not have been able to give assessments to everyone and run comparison reports (though that certainly would have made my life easier), but I likely would have been able to get a general idea of where the students I was working with would fall within the wheel.
There are opportunities that I likely missed during that time of my life because I was unable to recognize others’ types and unwilling to figure out how to actually work with those who had different priorities and tendencies than I did.
The lesson that I have been able to take from this experience has been to pay more attention to those with whom I’m working. Now that I’m with an organization that not only values knowing your own type, but also in running a comparison with others within the organization, I have a much better handle on how to work with other people. We’ve been able to have discussions with each other so that we can recognize where we are similar and where we differ, which has given us more opportunities to balance each other out and work together successfully. This has allowed us become a much more cohesive team.