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The 12 Best Strategies For Tackling A Group Project According To The Art Of War

You never know how much work your group will put into any paper or project. This article will teach you the way of Sun Tzu.

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12. You will never be prepared to do this, it is literally awful every time.


[03.05] To build protective shields, armored wagons, and make ready other arms and equipment will require at least three months.

Sun Tzu knows it takes very long to prepare for war and a group project might as well be one. Don't stress out over the very idea of the project, save that stress for when you meet your group.

11. Don't freak out! at least not yet.


When your group sucks, you must resist telling them off. Sun Tzu says that:

[03.04] Laying siege to a city is only done when other options are not available.

Don't lay verbal siege upon your despicable group mates. Wait until the last possible moment, but if it gets there, lay that siege.

10. Do not over-do it.


Much like many Taoist teachings, Sun Tzu conveys:

[05.12] Disorder came from order, fear came from courage, weakness came from strength.

If you try to enforce too many rules, that could lead to an ignorant group. If you act confident, your group members may fear you. Though, if you act overconfident you may be perceived as weak. Stay somewhere in the middle.

9. Be patient.


No one ever wants to do this, but you can prove you're a much better person than your dimwitted partners. Even if they're dumb, slow, rude or all three just wait. Sun Tzu is out here saying don't stoop to their level, don't let that get to you, b!

[08.13] He who is quick tempered can be insulted.

8. Get to know your partners' bad sides


In war, you want to know how your enemy reacts. Same here, you want to know how well your group members can take criticism. Sun Tzu states it well:

[06.25] Provoke him, to know his patterns of movement.

Once you have determined how much your group members can handle, you can push the appropriate amount of work on them. This way, you can do the least work possible and still aim for a good grade.

7. Find out what everyone's major is -


- or otherwise what they're interested in, for Sun Tzu teaches:

[07.11] One who does not know the mountains and forests, gorges and defiles, swamps and wetlands cannot advance the army. One who does not use local guides cannot take advantage of the ground.

How are you going to get an A? Make your group members practice their expertise. And surely if you're in a liberal arts school find that English major and make them write your paper!

6. Talk about the hard parts first.


No one likes it when the hardest part is put off until the last possible moment. Ever write 15 pages in a day? Yeah, it sucks. Sun Tzu teaches to focus on positives and negatives for different reasons.

[08.08] Contemplating the advantages, he fulfills his calculations; contemplating the disadvantages, he removes his difficulties.

We can do all the easy parts now and have "90%" of the project done. But are those 9 simple requirements at all equal to the one giant project requirement? Just do it now fam.

5. Put it all on the silent one.


[09.15] If the enemy is close and remains quiet, he occupies a natural stronghold. - Sun Tzu

If you are the quiet one, make sure you speak up more than one other person. That way when there's that one last step you can delegate it to the silent one. - Since you haven't contributed like at all you can just do this.

4. If you can work with them, stick with 'em, otherwise drop 'em.


Don't judge a book by its cover, and give your group-mates a shot. Sometimes the quiet kid from the back of class is lowkey grabbing straight A's... But that doesn't mean every group is passable. If you have the option to switch groups after you give them a shot, DO IT. Sometimes you might even have to work by yourself, but then at least you can't blame anyone else for a failing grade. Sun Tzu would say that:

[03.01] Generally in warfare, keeping a nation intact is best, destroying a nation second best.

3. Be good at something - unusual


Sun Tzu knows that you can split up the work easily, but if you can be skilled at something weird or uncommon you might be able to get out of doing some work.

[05.04] Generally, in battle, use the common to engage the enemy and the uncommon to gain victory. Those skilled at uncommon maneuvers are as endless as the heavens and earth, and as inexhaustible as the rivers and seas.

For example, if you have a video project and you own and can operate a camera, you might be able to get out of script writing and acting and all that. Same goes for papers too, get good at research or something like that.

2. Don't take their sh*t.


[09.39] If his troops confront you with anger, but do not do battle or leave their position, he must be investigated. - Sun Tzu

If a group member confronts you angrily about something, don't take it personally. Figure out if they are justified in their anger, but while in school people have plenty of things they're dealing with and sometimes they take it out on others. Yes, even classmates. Some people just don't have the world working with them.

1. Call dibs!!


[01.16] Attack where your enemies are not prepared; go to where they do not expect. - Sun Tzu

Look at the assignment and see how the work is divided. Bring it up, and call dibs. If no one has discussed it yet and you want to write the introduction or be the timekeeper or whatever it may be, why would anyone say no to that???

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