Skills for teamwork: what are they and why do they matter?
If you think that being able to get along with coworkers is enough to write in your resume "good at teamwork", you’re wrong.
This term includes all the qualities and abilities that help to collaborate effectively with other employees during everyday routine: offline and online meetings, projects, and friendly talks. People are born with certain traits of character that allow developing the skills of a team player, like active listening, compassion, communication, sense of humor, and honesty. Additionally, many other soft skills can help to become a perfect addition to any team or even become its leader.
Teamwork comprises an inseparable part of many areas of life: from school projects to planning a Halloween party. And it’s especially vital at work where communication and collaboration with other employees take a significant part of your working day. Even if you successfully carry out all your duties alone, thanks to great self-discipline, being a team player might come in handy one day.
So why are teamwork skills important when working in a team?
The newest study has highlighted once again that communication at work is one of the major driven powers of the company's development. It shows that effective communication within a team generates 4.5 times higher talent retention.
Let's admit it, there is a great number of advantages strong teamwork skills can bring to the workplace, including:
- Reach career goals
- Grow resume
- Positively contribute to a company’s development
- Establish friendly relationships with coworkers, build rapport and trust
- Work effectively on tasks and projects
- Maintain a healthy atmosphere within a team
Which qualities do characterize truly successful teamwork?
Team success depends on many factors, including the effort each team member puts into reaching the common goal. To make this happen, the whole team should rely on the following:
- Trust and acceptance of each other
- Professional communication
- Emotional intelligence
- Positive attitude
- Mutual recognition of the past experiences, acquired skills, and emotions
5 strong teamwork skills
Not everyone is born to become a leader. The same concerns skills for team building. The main goal of each employee is to discover their hidden talents and develop them into useful tools for cooperation in groups. There are no major and minor teamwork skills but without some of them, you won’t become a successful team player.
We’ve gathered 5 examples of the most vital team-working skills:
Friendly chats. Meetings with superiors. Customer feedback. Daily reports. They all require good communication skills for all team members without exceptions. Practicing communication skills is especially important for employees who work in home offices and don’t have the possibility to talk to colleagues face-to-face.
Training sessions, webinars, and masterclasses with psychologists and experienced speakers can help to develop these skills and build a close-knit crew of professionals.
Modern platforms and services for virtual meetings can also be helpful. Whoosh, Skype, Zoom, or Slack are the most popular apps that make remote collaboration more convenient, interactive, and engaging.
Every team experiences conflict from time to time. It’s a natural part of human life. There are no two people with similar opinions and personalities and they often clash, leading to various tensions. Some can be easily solved, while others may cause disastrous consequences. Being understanding, empathetic, and willing to compromise will guarantee you can adequately react to troublesome situations that happen at work. Handling negative situations is just half of the problem, bouncing back to friendly relationships and refocusing are other challenging tasks only experienced team players can do successfully.
At work, we communicate with various people having different needs, wishes, and demands. Everyone wants to be heard, valued, and recognized. Hence, active listening skills and the ability to provide well-considered feedback can encourage a team to build trust and find common ground. Listening actively you focus intently on one person while they share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. You express your attitude towards them, give feedback, and ask follow-up questions to show you value the interlocutor with their inner world and appreciate they share it with you. That’s the way friendship and trust emerge.
Your job doesn’t require you to be the life of the party, yet, making friends at work can bring many benefits:
- Show that you’re reliable and trustworthy
- Establish a cordial atmosphere at the workplace
- Bring positive energy and happiness
- Help to work together more effectively
Obviously, not everyone can boast of an endless charisma and appealing personality, but there are many other ways to build rapport. Offering help, quick check-in, telling a silly joke to clear the air can win you some points. And after that, you’ll be pretty surprised when someone will return the favor.
Working with people, you’re obliged to be respectful. Other people will be more willing to contact you if they see you convey respect for them, their efforts, and their ideas. Do simple actions like calling a person by their first name, maintaining eye contact, and actively listening to demonstrate appreciation. Be sure, your efforts will be noticed and appreciated too.
What else can bring your team closer to success?
- Problem-solving skills
- Sophisticated organizational skills
- Healthy team environment
- Honest feedback
How to master them?
As any other, teamwork skills require time and effort to improve. Even if you doubt having them, there is a high chance to build them with hard work. What is more, if you’re about to return from in-house work to the office, it’ll be helpful to recall how you used to collaborate in teams in person. We’ve prepared several helpful tips:
Apart from a company’s mission, each worker should be aware of their roles and responsibilities within the group. This will make them understand how they can contribute to the organization and which skills they should develop.
Everything depends on team size and structure. A small group won’t be able to function perfectly, because of a lack of diversity, which is vital for developing and generating new ideas. On the other hand, a too big team won’t guarantee effective and productive work, because some employees can become lazy and prone to group thinking. That’s why it’s so important to strike the right balance and share responsibilities between all employees, not allowing them to overwork, performing the duties for two, and at the same time to do nothing, when someone else is already working on a similar task.
Decide on your team’s goals and mission
Every team, no matter what their occupation is, should clearly understand the major goals and objectives of their work, the company’s mission, and the result they should achieve together. Without that, they won’t be able to cooperate efficiently. Everyone will work separately, each carrying out their own duties, without contributing to the shared mission.
That’s why HRs often ask the following question: “What is more valuable for you - working together, as a team, or individually?”
To set a clear and straightforward direction for a team is the goal of its leader. Without it, there are fewer chances to succeed in the highly competitive modern world. There’s no doubt that setting objectives for individual work should not be ignored as well, but every person needs to do their tasks to commit to a common goal.
Ask for constructive feedback
For most people, it’s hard to identify their weaknesses and strengths. Asking a friend or a trusted colleague for constructive feedback can be helpful. They can objectively analyze your everyday work and interactions with other people to point out areas of improvement.
Practice good teamwork skills more
There are numerous ways to improve teamwork skills. Some may cost money, for example, courses or training sessions with coaches, but most of them require only motivation and time for practice.
You can try the following:
- Watch videos on Youtube
- Join free webinars and masterclasses
- Host team-building activities at work
- Pay closer attention to your everyday interactions at work, analyze them and think of the ways you can do better
On the way to acquiring important teamwork skills
Now, when you know which traits of character are crucial for fruitful work with your coworkers and how to improve teamwork skills, you should start actively working on them. Take some time to gather thoughts, analyze the current skill set and highlight areas that require improvement. With practice and time, you’ll certainly become a true team player.