Let’s consider this example from Grace’s point of view, assuming that it’s important to her that she receives a good grade because she wants to maintain a high GPA and hopes to be accepted into honours the following year.

Grace could use this worksheet to help her get clearer about what are your options? Let’s see how she works through the questions.

1. Miracle question
What would she like to be different?
  • Everyone contributes equally to the project
  • The work is to a high standard
  • Everyone’s work is collected early
How would she feel?
  • Less stressed
  • Not under as much pressure
  • That everyone in the group was contributing equally and it was ‘fair’
What specific things would need to change so that she would know the conflict had been resolved or was being managed well?
  • The meetings would be more productive (either more people would turn up or the work collected before the meetings)
  • She could trust that everyone in the team would produce their part of the assignment
  • The end result is something she is happy with and would hopefully earn the team a good grade
2. Prioritise

Grace needs to consider what is most important to her on this list and how important the changes are to her.

Grace may feel that what’s most important to her is that she is less stressed about the whole thing and the work is to a high standard. Or she may feel strongly about ensuring everyone contributes equally to the project and turns up to every scheduled group meeting.

Depending on how she ranks her priorities will affect what actions steps she may choose to take.

3. Action Steps

What steps could Grace take to assist the change she wants to see?

Brainstorming all possible actions she could take will help Grace to be able to make a more informed choice about her options. If Grace is most concerned about reducing the stress of this assignment she could consider:

  • Approaching the lecturer for an extension
  • Calling a group meeting to discuss what’s really important to her
  • Talking to the group members individually
  • Asking library staff or university support staff for assistance in the group work
  • Asking to change groups
  • Find out if there is an alternative assessment she could do
  • Find out more information about entry into the honours program

Grace may find that after a while she can identify steps that would reduce her feelings of stress that she hadn’t considered as possibilities before.

Let’s see how they fit into the categories of: