While often a necessary part of life, some people shudder at the thought of working in groups. Some shudder due to their shy personalities while others shudder at the idea of having to share responsibilities. Despite the fears some harbor, working in groups is a very beneficial practice and allows for many things that working as an individual does not.
There is power in numbers. That’s a familiar statement to many, but what does it really mean? It’s a matter of physics. The more force or energy applied to an object, the more likely it is to move. When facing a problem or a “rock in our road”, we have a greater chance of moving it when we have help. In many religions, it is taught that there is power in numbers. Jesus said that if two people agreed about anything they ask for it would be done. Wicca believes in the power of three people coming together to ask for something, and group meditations allow groups of people to focus their thoughts on a common vision. In politics, people with a common objective join together in activist groups to have a larger voice and greater chance of being heard. In promotions, the band with the largest fan base is going to make the most money at their concerts, and the pop star known in the most house holds is going to be offered advertising contracts.
There is increased creativity in numbers. We’ve all heard the saying “Two heads are better than one”, and it’s true. The human mind has infinite potential to retain and create. That being said, no two human minds are alike. You are a unique individual shaped and carved by your experiences. When you involve yourself with a group of other unique individuals with infinite potential of their own, the pool of experience to draw upon is enriched. Writers often involve themselves in writers groups to fine tune their writing, to receive constructive criticism, or to get beyond bouts of writers block. Bands often write music together, allowing each member to input their own creative touch. Films are collaborative projects with many different people responsible for the different parts of the finished masterpiece. Once ideas begin to bounce off each other in a group, it can be amazing to where a project goes.
There is increased growth, inspiration and development in numbers. Some believe that the only reason we are here on this planet is to explore ourselves, yet we can not even do this fully without the others that we come into contact with on a daily basis. A group can offer a wealth of information and perceptions that we were previously unfamiliar with, remind us of something we already knew or inspire us to explore a path of thinking we wouldn’t have on our own. When information is presented by others, it offers us the opportunity to judge it, deciding if we agree or disagree. In doing so, we learn something about ourselves and achieve personal growth. Working in a group can also offer a sense of unity and belonging. It feels good to belong somewhere and can boost confidence or offer strength. In turn, this boosts creativity and production. This is often seen in support groups. Being in a group also serves as an inspiration to stay on task as one might be more inclined to finish something if they know there will be others depending on them or waiting to comment on their work. This encourages one to take pride in all they do, which pushes an individual towards further development of all they undertake.
If you keep an open heart and mind, you will find that working in groups can be beneficial to you at work and at home, despite how you feel about working with others. By letting go of any preconceptions about working with others, you will find that there is increased success, creativity and development available. The next time you think about shying away from group work, take a moment to think about how the experience can benefit you in your professional and personal development and goals. You may be pleasantly surprised to realize how much one can walk away with.