QUOTE(tamsin @ Apr 21 2009, 04:17 PM)
How can I force people to stay together and work as a team? How am I supposed to know what exactly they should be doing? How am I supposed to stay sane?
Worried that I'm not being trusting enough here, but my group really aren't filling me with confidence.
Try to set each person something very definite to do, with a deadline. This is what's done in the work environment, so they will need to get used to it! They needn't stick together in the sense of working in the same building as long as their bit is done by the deadline. Ideally, the whole group
discusses initially what needs to be done, and people are given a degree of freedom in which bit they take on; the leader should only allocate (perhaps by tossing a coin) if there is a real fight over one bit of the work. That gives "ownership" of the work to whoever takes it on; some people may need to work in twos - depends what your project is.
How far ahead the deadline is depends on how long your project is, and could be tomorrow or next week. Set a meeting time at the deadline when everyone
reports back and discusses the overall project. Some people may be given short tasks initially, others long ones, but they should all report back with either an interim report or a full report. That way, no-one is left floundering alone for too long, and interest in the project should be kept up. It also stops people feeling that they've been sidelined into one tiny area of the project which no-one else cares about.
Leadership should not
mean that you have to think for everyone - it should mean ensuring that the team pulls together, and that's easiest when everyone feels responsible. If people are regularly not meeting deadlines/meetings, the rest of the group should nag them - it shouldn't all be left to you. Any real problems with co-operation, see your supervisor.
Best of luck!