From your academic life to career building and personal life, wherever you are in life, you need to have teamwork skills. Teamwork skill is a compulsory trait that will help you make your life easier by helping you along with people around you.
Therefore, the goal of this content is to help you with growing and improving your teamwork skills. It will help you to work in teams and also help others to easily blend in with your team as well. So let’s go, team!
What are Teamwork Skills?
Teamwork is working in a group or team with collaboration to achieve a common goal and complete the work in the most effective and efficient manner. Through teamwork, a group of interdependent people work toward a common goal.
The four main characteristics of teamwork have shared goals, interdependence, boundedness and stability. You have to manage your work and internal process and contribute to a larger social system. For doing effective teamwork, you need to have an adequate team size according to your goal and when you want to achieve it. The context is essential, and the size of the team can change depending on the goal.
For example, different sports teams have different numbers of team members according to their game rules and objectives. Similarly, whenever you are working on a project, professional or academic, you will need to set and work with a number of people in unison.
A team have to be able to leverage resources to be productive. They require meeting spaces, scheduled time for planning, guideline from supervisors and instructors and organisation support. Each team member has a defined role and purpose in the team. The context can be anything academic, industrial organisation, sports, healthcare, etc.
In each place, the level of teamwork and dependency will vary from low to intermediate to high, depending on the level of communication, interaction, and collaboration present between team members.
Therefore, teamwork skills help you work properly with others while doing a project, meeting, conversing or collaborating with a team. Hence, your teamwork skill is dependent on your ability to communicate, listen and also on your ability to take responsibility and honesty. There are many more necessary skills that contribute to teamwork skills, which we will learn shortly.
Why are Teamwork Skills Important?
Wherever you go, you need teamwork skills to belong to a community and chase success together. Sure, you can pull off something completely on your own, but alone you won’t be able to access all the opportunities you will get as a team. In addition, with good teamwork skills, you can have access to better resources, manpower and ideas that are scarce to come by when you are on your own.
Besides, you will need to work with others in every industry and at every level of your career in today’s world. Team working in an efficient, empathetic and responsible way will help you achieve your own career goals. It will help you grow your resume, and you can positively contribute to your organisation or community. Similarly, you can also build deeper relationships by building rapport with others by working closely. It will also bring you new connections and opportunities.
Here are some more importance of teamwork skills:
1. Teamwork skills make you and your team more efficient. You can divide difficult tasks into simpler ones, then work together to complete them quickly. Your team can assign the best person for each task who can do it better and faster.
2. Teammate monitors and depends on the quality of each other’s work. When one team member’s performance dips, the others may have the knowledge and motivation to help them improve.
3. You can develop more innovative and creative ideas when you work with a group of people,
4. Working in a team also means that you can learn from each other.
5. You will be able to solve problems together and faster.
6. You’ll feel that your work is valued when you contribute to something that produces results.
What are the Types of Skills That Helps to Improve Team Work Skills?
To become a team player, you need to have some qualities and traits. Teamwork skill consists of several distinct skills that we all have inside us to some extent. All we need to do is practice them religiously and learn as we work as a team. Teamwork skill is a collection of several soft skills that you can work on to improve yourself. It is also one of the essential parts of leadership quality. Having teamwork skills will make you a competitive applicant and competent employee in the job market.
As a result, these are the skills and traits you will need to improve to enhance your teamwork skills. If you improve the following skills, they will improve your teamwork skills.
The fundamental skill n required for teamwork skills is good communication. It is the most important skills team members must have. If you and your team members are unable to communicate effectively, there will be gaps and miscommunication, and your work efficiency will falter. To run any kind of business and project smoothly, effective communication is a must.
It also helps to meet clients’ needs properly. For good communication, you need to be good with conversation and also many other communication habits.
To sum it all, here are the essential needs for effective communication:
- Active listening skills
- Being respectful and approachable
- Multichannel communication
- Attention to body language
- Ability to understand your listener
- Expressing your ideas accurately.
- Inquiring and asking questions when necessary.
2. Active Listening
Though it is a part of communication, active listening is crucial to develop teamwork skills. Without active listening, you cannot understand instructions and plans and carry them out properly. Moreover, many of the qualities necessary to be a good team player depend on listening skills.
Sometimes, you can make good contributions to the teamwork by listening properly and doing the work effectively according to instructions. But for many people, listening is where they struggle the most and keep on speaking and expressing their views without listening.
However, active listening is more than just listening and collecting ideas from your team member. Active listening also creates a connection between the speaker and the listener and makes the speaker’s opinion feel valued. As a result, the interaction is more satisfactory and understanding.
Here are the things you need to do for active listening.
- Give your full attention to the speaker.
- Make eye contact.
- Pay attention to body language or non-verbal cues.
- Ask questions.
3. Conflict Management
When several minds sit at the same table, there will be differences in opinion and conflicts. Team members won’t always agree to each other’s ideas and opinions which leads to conflict. Therefore, conflict management is important in improving teamwork skills.
Conflict management is the ability to understand both sides of the conflict and develop a solution that will please everyone to some extent. Conflict doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, volatile, or e violent. It can also be a productive way to look at all aspects of a situation and form a solution. This is where conflict management skills can be very beneficial.
You will face conflict eventually whenever you are working in a team. How you deal with conflict highlights skills as a team player and can greatly affect your personal and professional growth. Someone with strong conflict management skills looks at disagreement on the team as a chance for further clarification and collaboration.
Following are the things you need to know for conflict management:
- Always stay open for discussion
- Be unbiased
- Address conflicting issues immediately
- Actively listening before giving a response
- Optimistic behaviour
- Effective negotiation
- Solution-based strategic thinking
In order to work properly and in unison, you and your team need to have organisation skills. Teamwork skills are enhanced when you are more organised. Organisational skills are skills that help you to utilise your resources efficiently and effectively. By being organised, you can manage your time, energy, and workspace properly and execute all your assigned tasks successfully.
If you and your team let your organisation skills slip, your work will suffer as a result. It can be very time-consuming to correct mistakes and delays that occur due to poor organisational skills. It can delay the whole progress of the team. Therefore, staying organised is important for being a team player. In addition, a team that properly organise their work and maintains coordination with each other can make better progress.
Here is what you need to do to be an organised team member:
- Planning ahead
- Keep track of deadlines
- Maintaining a set schedule
- Time management
- Giving attention to details
- Set and meet goals
5. Time Management
Just like organisation skill, time management skill is also an important part of teamwork skills. You need to balance the time you are given to do your task and contribute to your team. You have to balance between your personal and professional time. You will also have to prioritise your tasks and meeting that will help you work faster and better.
Time management skills help you to work faster and more efficiently. It also helps you to work smarter. We can leverage time management tools and strategies to manage workload, focus on important tasks, and avoid unnecessary distractions.
An efficient time management skill can positively impact your productivity and affect your quality of work. In addition, if you can properly balance your time, you can improve your teamwork skills and turn into a reliable and responsible team member.
Time management skills involve:
- Planning ahead of time
- Setting up realistic and achievable goals
- Prioritise your task and goals
- Maintain a strict schedule
- Know when your deadlines are and meet them.
- Immediately address any kind of obstacles or issues.
Similar to conflict management, you will be facing many obstacles and problems that will hinder your teamwork progress and performance. As a result, you need to improve your problem-solving capabilities so that you can help your team with any problem you come across.
Problem-solving is the ability to analyse a problem and find solutions for the problem using critical thinking. If you put effort into problem-solving as a team, you will be able to come up with the best possible solution and result. When team members work together, they can share and compare ideas and select the best solution. Because when you and your group think through the problem, you will come up with more than one solution.
7. Reliability & Accountability
One of the compulsory things that teamwork skills revolve around is reliability. Your team must find you reliable. You have to be a reliable part of the team who can take responsibility and complete them. Therefore, you need to show the ability to show that you can accomplish the job requirements by finishing your task before the deadlines.
You need to be accountable for your work. Accountability makes for a desirable teamwork skills. It helps to build trust among co-workers. A team member who will blame others but fail to acknowledge their own mistakes is not reliable or accountable. Accountability is important for teamwork skills because if you hold yourself accountable, you will be able to present the best of your work.
If you cannot prove that you are reliable or accountable enough team lead or employer will doubt your skill as an effective team member. This can lead to lesser career progress, and they will not trust you with better opportunities and responsibilities.
- Plan and execute your task.
- Finish tasks within deadlines.
- Keep peers updated on your progress.
- Discuss with the team if any kind of issue arises.
8. Ability to Build Rapport
Build a friendly rapport and a harmonious relationship in which the people or team members understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well. Rapport in academic and professional life is working productively and in harmony with your supervisor and colleagues.
Teamwork skills are not only about seriously doing your work. It is also about enjoying your work with your team, which you can do through enthusiastic conversation with team members.
If you are able to converse with your colleagues openly, it can help the team to meet their full potential and work without stress.
Building rapport with team members helps to exchange ideas and plans freely. As a result, you can plan, explore innovative ideas and make your work more enjoyable. The things you need to do in order to build rapport are:
- Being friendly
- Maintain honesty
- Make eye contact while communicating
- Ask questions to your co-workers about their interest and life in general.
- Find common interests
- Show empathy
- Follow up on past conversations.
9. Respect Team Members
A big part of teamwork skills is being respectful to your team members. If you and your team members are respectful to each other, it will make the work environment more comfortable. Respectfulness is a quality that you must maintain in all your personal and professional interactions.
Even if you are a team leader or supervisor giving constructive feedback to your team member or collaborating with a co-worker, you need to be respectful toward them. You need to tell them the right thing without hurting their feelings. Hiring managers always look for respectful employees who contribute to creating a good working atmosphere.
Delegating skills is a helpful aspect of teamwork skills. Everyone in the team needs to work equally and in accordance with their strength and priority. A team is unbalanced if one person has more workload while another person doesn’t have anything to contribute.
A team member can decrease their work pressure or someone else’s work pressure by delegating the work. Therefore, a functional team has a leader or member who has powerful delegation skills.
Delegation means properly assigning tasks and deadlines to every team member who is most capable of achieving them in time. Everyone needs to know what their responsibilities are in the team. If they are unclear, it will likely cause confusion and chaos. On the other hand, if you have perfect delegation skills, you will be able to manage the team dynamics. This is because, without proper delegation of tasks, the team will become disorganised and inefficient.
Delegation skills include:
- Clearly explaining guidelines and expectations
- Communicating well
- Defining roles
- People management
- Ensuring fairness
- Setting reachable goals
11. Project Management
Project management skill is important to build on teamwork skills for people who want to lead or manage a team or project. Leaders need good project management skills to build a team and execute projects successfully. An employer wants to know if the work they assign will be handled responsibly. You can organise and delegate tasks through project management skills by giving them constructive feedback.
For efficient project management, you need the following:
- Strong communication skills
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Organisation skills
- Being detail-oriented
- Effective prioritising
Teamwork skills need decision-making abilities. Decision-making is the process of choosing and deciding by gathering information or looking at an issue from a different perspective. Making decisions through a gradual process can help you make thoughtful and deliberate decisions by sorting through facts, relevant details and looking at alternative ways.
If you have good decision-making skills, you will make a competitive job applicant when employers are considering who will make more effective decisions that can run a team. Decision-making is just not about what you think is the best. Being able to contribute by decision-making can help you, and your team, find alternative solutions.
Good decision-making skills involve:
- A good understanding of the project or problem
- Considering different plans to reach goals
- Using critical thinking
- Effective communication
- Implementing solutions
How to Improve Teamwork Skills?
Teamwork skills consist of soft skills that we discussed above. There are other characteristics that teamwork skills involve, like encouragement, innovation, persuasion, project planning, receiving feedback, presentation, self-awareness. Developing all these skills are more like developing habits that happen through practising every day.
1. Practice at Work
The very first step you need to take to improve teamwork skills is to practice them in every possible chance. You can volunteer to help your team and try to know where you are most needed and valued.
Next, find opportunities to work with new people. By doing this, you can build interpersonal skills, which are very important for teamwork skills. Follow your leaders, seniors or co-workers who are good with teamwork and collaboration. As a result, you can work with diverse sets of people and teams.
2. Dividing Work and Responsibilities
The main need of teamwork is assigning team members to work on what they can do the best. Therefore, when you are distributing duties and work, do it according to the strength of each member.
Influence and encourage team members to take on roles and responsibilities that they are confident they can do it perfectly. Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for in the team, and hold them accountable to accomplish the responsibilities in time.
3.Know Your Goal and Contribute to the Team
Understanding and clear knowledge of the part you are playing in the team is very important for improving teamwork skills. You need to know the overall goal your team is working to achieve and also, at the same time, emphasise what part you are playing to achieve that goal. To know and have a perfect understanding of the objectives and responsibilities you are playing.
While the whole team needs to achieve a bigger goal, each team member has particular goals they are responsible for. Every team member will have to be clear about their responsibilities so that the teamwork is in perfect unison and achieve the final goal successfully. As a result, there is no risk, and the whole team will not suffer from a team member ignorance. Moreover, everyone needs to understand what is their contribution to the bigger picture and value. Always discuss with your supervisor and co-worker to understand the current standing of the project you are working on to get a clear idea of the end goal.
4. Optimistic Mindset
Working in a team always means you need to have an optimistic attitude and mindset. You and your team must create and foster a caring and supportive environment. It will promote a positive mindset. As a result, when a problem arises, team members will feel empowered to solve them. A positive attitude will help you to tackle many problems and save the day.
5. Exercise Together with Team
A team that grows together, stays together. So work with your team member and collaborate with them. Build up clear guidelines so that they feel free to communicate, discuss problems, ask for help, and create a strong bond with your team. A team that has respect for each other and grows simultaneously can achieve goals more efficiently.
6. Get Feedback
It is always wise to ask for feedback from your team member, co-worker or supervisors who are working with you in the same team. If you are unsure, you can ask team members to evaluate your teamwork skills. Ask them what are you good at and what are the qualities that you can develop or improve to build yourself as a team player. Ask for honest feedback so that you know where you can put more effort.
7. Observe Your Team Member
If you are completely new to the teamwork environment, you can start by observing your team members. Remember that communication is the first step for teamwork. Observe how the team members are collaborating and working as a team. There must be co-workers and supervisors who are very good with their teamwork skills. Observe them and learn from the people you admire in your team who are great team players.
8. Set Goals to Improve Your Teamwork Skills
When you are getting feedback and observing your team members, you will be able to identify the area of improvement in teamwork skills. Set goals to improve those areas of problems.
Regularly check in with your teammates and supervisor to get feedback on any sign of improvement for the effort you are making. The people you are working with will notice the improvement first. They will be able to provide feedback and motivation, which is very helpful for developing teamwork skills.
Teamwork skills are not just about accomplishing work. It is more about working in unison, supporting and helping out each other in a team. As a result, you and your team learn and grow together and create a strong bond with each other. A great teamwork spirit can help you accomplish your work on time without wearing you out and leaving you with a great sense of achievement. Improving teamwork skills is all about learning from your experience and practice. It is like building a habit that helps you work in unison with your team. Encouragement and positive reinforcement help a great deal to improve your teamwork skill. You will learn a lot from books, teamwork skill-developing videos but the main result and changes come when you start applying what you have learned in your real life. To learn more and get more into team building and teamwork, you can join the Leadership and Management Training Course Online.