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Key skill assessment unit: working with others
Key skill assessment unit: working with others

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1 About working with others

Very few people study or work in complete isolation. Some courses now set projects and assignments that need to be completed in pairs or groups, either face-to-face or using econferencing. Even if your course does not formally require you to do this, working with others is an important part of your skills portfolio. Most jobs require you to work as part of a team, and employers value individuals who can demonstrate this.

In working on a work project or an assignment with others – in pairs or in a group – you will be learning two different things at once. You will be learning about the task or project that you have been set and you will also be learning about how to work with colleagues. The methods you choose to use to communicate and work together will relate to your particular circumstances, but the processes are similar.

Each member of a group influences how that group operates, even if only by remaining silent. The success of the group depends largely on whether everyone is prepared to take some responsibility for how the group operates and whether everyone feels free to contribute fully. Group working skills are not the sort of skills you can learn just by reading about them. To develop the skills needed to be an effective team member you need to practise them in a group setting with a real task.

Working in a group is not just about getting a job done. It is about communicating effectively, contributing ideas and listening to those of others, and receiving feedback appropriately, keeping the level of interest and excitement going, and leading or following the lead as appropriate.

This Key Skills Assessment Course offers an opportunity for you to select and prepare work that demonstrates your key skills in the area of working with others.

This course provides you with advice and information on how to go about presenting your key skills work as a portfolio.

In presenting work that demonstrates your key skills you are taking the initiative to show that you can develop and improve a particular set of skills, and are able to use your skills more generally in your studies or at work. Skills development is all about taking responsibility for extending and improving your learning and performance in a wide range of contexts. We hope, therefore, that you will see this guide as a way of supporting your learning and skills development while you are studying, working and in your other activities. However you view it, we hope that they will help make skills development something you value personally.