By Angelina Buchvarova (University of Warwick)

Teamwork can be a real pain unless you get used to it and count on some of these techniques to handle it – without any murders taking place.

Throughout my student life I have encountered several teammate personality types: 

1. The absolute genius, who has zero listening skills

This kind is truly annoying and although they may have some really strong arguments, you become totally reluctant to listen to them.

 How do I deal with them? I leave them talking until…


….they have something to say (and this type always has “something else” to add).  Meanwhile I think about something cheerful – foam bath and weekend planning actually helps a lot. After that I make a FB group and write everything I wanted to say, but didn’t have the chance to because of that chatterbox.

  1. The lazy, not really contributing team player, often silent

That personality impels me to ask for the opinion of that person and to establish whether they are genuinely not interested in the subject or just afraid to express their opinion.

Patience and smiling is what aids the group dynamics in that case. Suggesting small, doable tasks is another tactic to keep the balance in the team’s contribution.

  1. The very active and lively teammate, who is speaking lots, but in fact is not saying anything meaningful

This is a case that requires a certain amount of delicacy and understanding. I never want to kill their enthusiasm at the outset.

However, step by step and with a great deal of tact, I try to get them to start thinking about better decisions. A fatal mistake here is to reject everything they say – because this makes you teammate 1.


If none of these techniques works for you, block your ears, nod and say yes. After all, that project is just a tiny bit of your life – so for the sake of your health – make it pleasant! 

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