by Azka Mohyuddin
The following is a simple guide for those working with others because as we all know… it’s not an easy thing to do sometimes. This advice can be applied to both group work in class and within an organization.
1. Oh no, the dreaded group project/team work…
Regardless of how much it may pain you, it can actually be a blessing in disguise. There is a lot to learn from other people, and this might be your chance to do just that. There’s always a reason why you meet certain people in life, so trust that there is greater wisdom for this and benefit from the experience.
2. There’s always that ONE person! Sherlock would understand.
First, I would just like to say I understand. Know there is someone out there who gets it. It’s difficult to work with other people as is, but certain people make that experience even more unpleasant. However, keep in mind that while you are fully aware of what’s going on in your reality, you’re not aware of others’. Give them a chance, and try to understand their perspective as well—they might surprise you.
3. There are times when conflicts can arise between other members, with you watching it all unfold from the sidelines.
This is a big one. Conflicts are a natural part of working with others, but how you handle them says more about you than it does about the people arguing. There is no need to let the world know. What happens between your team should stay between your team. Would you wish for Allah subhana wa ta’ala to reveal your flaws to everyone? If you wouldn’t like it if it happened to you, don’t make others go through it either.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (salAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Allah will cover up on the Day of Resurrection the defects (faults) of the one who covers up the faults of the others in this world.” [Muslim]
4. Speaking of conflicts, sometimes you just don’t see eye to eye…
Disagreements happen. And that’s OKAY! But remember: just because you have different ideas, doesn’t mean it’s better than the others’. Respect your team enough to hear them out and give their ideas some thought. And if you still don’t agree, be patient with them and explain to them why you believe the situation should be handled a certain way. Don’t expect everyone to be on board from the get go, everyone needs time and it is your responsibility to give them that.
5. When your first instinct is to get angry…
Don’t. It’s as simple as that. Nothing good comes out of it, and the situation only escalates. Take the advice of our Prophet Muhammad salAllaahu ’alayhi wa sallam:
Narated By Abu Huraira: A man said to the Prophet, “Advise me! “The Prophet said, “Do not become angry and furious.” The man asked (the same) again and again, and the Prophet said in each case, “Do not become angry and furious.” (Sahih Bukhari)
6. But most importantly, it is very likely you’ll find a friend who makes it all worth it…
It is fascinating to think about how some things work out. The friend you can’t imagine not being a part of your life would have passed right by you if it hadn’t been for that one group project or that one event organization or that one [insert organization name here] executive board. Difficult experiences bring people together and coming out of them together help form some of our strongest relationships.
Go out there and challenge your comfort zone. Meet new people, learn some necessary lessons, and experience unfamiliar things. You have been given an opportunity in college unlike any other, and it would be your loss to let it slip by. The one thing I can tell you that will help you overcome any and all hurdles is purify your intentions. Not only will you be rewarded for all your sacrifices, but realizing that everything you’re doing is for the sake of Allah alone will help you deal with it a lot better.
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab relates that he heard the Messenger of Allah, salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, say, “Verily actions are by intentions, and for every person is what he intended. So the one whose hijrah was to Allah and His Messenger, then his hijrah was to Allah and His Messenger. And the one whose hijrah was for the world to gain from it, or a woman to marry her, then his hijrah was to what he made hijrah for.” [Agreed upon]
So purify your intentions and trust that Allah subhana wa ta’ala has your back, and nothing will seem too hard to handle Insha’Allah.