When a person runs for an elected position, like Governor, they don’t do it alone. A candidate has a team of friends, family, and community members that work with them on their campaign to help them get elected. People who want to make a difference on a community issue also need a supportive team to help them achieve their goals.
Whether you are participating in the Kid Governor® program or you want to make a difference on a problem you see in your community, you will need the help of your classmates and friends. They can help you think through your community issue and a plan of action, and you can do the same for them. Working together can be fun but it can be hard work. The following tips will help you successfully work with your classmates and friends!
When working with classmates or in a group, it is important to be clear and specific when you communicate. Make sure that everyone in your group knows what the task is and what they are responsible for doing. Speak up when you have questions and encourage your classmates to ask questions, too.
One of the first things your group can do to help everyone work together is create rules. Think about what you want your group to accomplish and decide what work you should do together and what is independent work. Determine when you should meet and if you need to meet outside of when your teacher lets you during class. Create rules for your group to help you stay focused and complete your task.
Create jobs for each person in your group to help make the work easier, and to make sure everyone feels included. Some jobs you might want to have are:
- Team Leader – The person who leads the group and makes sure that everyone is working on what they should be.
- Note Taker – The person who takes notes on what the group is doing, questions that the group has, and the group’s next steps. Keeping notes is very important for tracking your progress.
- Researcher – If you are working on an action plan for a community issue, this person will research your issue, look up information, and answer questions you have about the issue.
- Editor – The person who reviews your work before you finish it to make sure there are no mistakes in spelling, punctuation, or information.
While working with your friends or classmates, make sure that you are honest. Be honest about how much work you have done, when you need help, and when you do not understand something. Be honest and your group will help you out!
Find a Consensus
It can be difficult to accomplish something if you and your team members do not agree on a decision. When your team members do not agree on something, make sure that everyone in the group has a chance to speak and share their perspective. By listening to everyone’s ideas, your team members will be able to think carefully about the best option. Try to come to a “consensus”, or compromise, that everyone will be happy with.
Ask and Listen
Even when you are not working in a group, it is important to ask questions and listen to others around you. If you are trying to better your community, you need to listen to your community. Ask you friends, classmates, family members, and other people in your community what they think about the community issue you’ve chosen. Ask them about the history of the issue, who is working to solve the issue in your community, and what can be done to solve the problem. This is just the first step in working together to better your community.