These past few days I've been in a small town in Texas working with people I don't know very well on a job we all had to get done (not work related) and get done accurately. We would only be together for about 3 days, and we had to get along. Well, we didn't have to get along, but it sure made the time more pleasant if we did. Also, we had jobs to do, and all our jobs depended on other people and other people depended on our jobs. Lots of us were new to our tasks, many had done things before and had set ideas on how to do things, many people had strong personalities or weird personalities or quiet personalities, but we still had to work well together.
So that got me to thinking, "group work" just crops up everywhere in life, and the more we get exposed to it in school and the more there are issues that we have to resolve while we're in our groups and the more troubles that arise, then THE BETTER. If you never have the chance to figure out how to solve "group work" problems early on in school and such, then later on when it's not a choice, you'll have a hard time managing, and you'll be part of the problem.
I'm one of those people that inwardly groan when we're assigned groups in an educational setting and think, "I just want to do it by myself". But now I'm thinking, okay, if "bad" things come up (someone doesn't contribute, someone dominates, someone thinks they can do it better themselves (ahem)...), then this will be my opportunity to think of ways to address problems that may come up. Maybe I won't do it perfectly, but I'll try something out and if it doesn't work, then I'll know to try something else next time. ... Now this all sounds like I think I'm the jewel of the group work and never do ANYTHING wrong (it's hard being so perfect), but I don't think that at all. I guess I'm more along the lines of thinking I have to adjust my attitudes about it and maybe even I'm a thorn in the side of the group and don't know it. Viva la group work!