How To Build Effective Teamwork
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Teams have become more important than ever in our society. Technology makes it easier than ever to produce content, share information, advertise products, and coordinate work across vast distances. This has led to a rise in teams of all types- from sports teams that compete together as one, to multinational corporations with departments or even whole divisions dedicated to specific projects.
Teams are what allows us to collaborate, communicate, and come together to achieve goals beyond just individual success. As such, effective teamwork is increasingly valuable – and something we need to teach and learn at every level, from students working together on a project team to executives leading large groups of people.
While there are many theories about why good teams exist, most agree that trust and cohesion play major roles. When you lack trust, individuals cannot rely on each other to do their part, so coordination becomes difficult if not impossible. Without this basic element, collaboration breaks down.
Without strong communication skills, thoughts and ideas can get lost along the way. It may also be hard to know who should handle which job, making everyone feel like they’re doing extra work. All these weaknesses combine to make it harder to reach your goal.
This article will discuss some ways to help you develop your teamworking skills by breaking them into three main categories: internal relationships, external relations, and responsibility.
Create an environment that encourages teamwork
As mentioned before, team work comes down to creating an environment where teammates feel comfortable sharing their knowledge and resources. It also means being honest with each other at all times and looking out for one another’s well-being.
Your colleagues will not always agree with you, which is okay! But if they begin to feel like they are going up against you and your decisions, it can be difficult to keep working together.
So make sure that everyone feels included and understood – whether in the workplace or outside of it. This will create the perfect platform for effective teamwork.
If there are ever disagreements, try to talk about them calmly and logically instead of shouting or making accusations.
Never put off things until later unless you really have no option but to go along with what others want to do — this only creates more stress. If something needs doing, find someone who doesn’t need too much persuading to help you get it done.
Make team members aware of the impact of their actions on the team
As mentioned earlier, being able to recognize and acknowledge the effects that others have on you is a powerful tool in fostering teamwork. When someone does something that has a positive effect on the group, they should be acknowledged for it.
When someone else’s action has a negative effect however, they should be informed of it so that changes can be made to prevent future occurrences.
It may seem obvious, but making this clear usually requires some sort of conversation or notification. It could be as simple as saying “You know, I noticed when we were in such and such situation, it made me think about such and such thing.”
Or it could be more direct like “We need to make sure we are not in situations where we are put under too much pressure because then things might go terribly wrong.”
If needed, there are always courses or seminars available via education systems on how to better manage stress and relationships.
Encourage honest feedback from team members
As a leader, you will get much more out of your team if they give you their full input and honesty. You may hear comments that could potentially hurt someone’s feelings or seem like a criticism, but what it really is is just their opinion and approach to how things are done around here.
If someone does not agree with something you have planned, offer them another solution instead. If someone seems less motivated than other people, ask whether there is anything you can do to help them feel happier and connected to the company.
The most important thing to remember when listening to employee feedback is that it comes from a place of love and desire to improve the organization. Just because something was said in a tone that did not sound positive does not mean that person is bad at their job.
It might be hard to listen to, but taking time to understand the root cause can help you fix the issue and ensure it never happens again.
Make sure team members know they are valued
As mentioned before, one of the biggest causes of conflict is when different people have different priorities or goals. If someone feels that you do not appreciate their hard work, then they will likely stop putting in the effort.
If a member of your team does not feel appreciated, it can easily create a feeling of lack of confidence. This may lead to lower productivity and efficiency, both for them as well as for you.
Make sure each person knows what makes them important to you. Ask about their career and personal life, and make frequent comments and calls to show how much you value them.
This doesn’t mean always tell people how great they are – this only happens once or twice - but instead emphasize things such as their achievements, contributions to the company, etc.
It’s also important to recognize and reward good performance from others. Give them praise and respect and let them know what they did right. When doing so, be careful not to overdo it though, because this could become annoying if repeated too often.
Make sure team members share their knowledge
As mentioned before, being able to motivate others is a key factor in creating an effective work environment. If you are not confident in your own skills, how could you expect someone else to feel motivated about improving them?
One of the major reasons why some teams fail is because of a lack of motivation. When people do not feel that their efforts are appreciated or they do not get enough feedback for what they put into the project, they will keep putting in less effort.
This can be avoided by making sure that every member of the team feels that his or her input matters and is needed for success. By giving frequent feedback and encouraging teamwork, it creates an atmosphere where everyone has confidence in the group’s ability to succeed.
Another way to achieve this is to make sure that all of the members of the team have at least a basic understanding of the other areas of the business.
By sharing information and learning from each other, they form a strong core which can be built upon. This helps promote trust as well as communication and collaboration.
Take team members to new places
As mentioned earlier, being able to take initiative and do things for others is a key factor in creating teamwork. If you are always waiting for someone else to make the next move, then your colleagues will keep that position as leader and you will be the one who has to deal with their absence.
Everyone needs a break from time to time, so try to find ways to let them off the hook every once while. Offer to help out at work or meet up with friends outside of work to give people some relief.
Encourage risk taking
A leader that encourages risk taking is not only motivating for others, but can also inspire people to try new things. If you are always protecting people from risks, they will never feel comfortable doing something new.
By being open to trying new things, you promote teamwork and collaboration. Both concepts are important in today's workplace.
Teamwork happens when individuals work together towards a common goal. Collaboration is working with other people or groups to achieve your goals.
If someone has proposed changing the project scope, or asking another team member to take on a more difficult task, then it’s time to accept their proposal and help them carry out these changes.
Do this by offering praise and encouragement, and maybe even offer some tips of your own if you've done such moves before. The idea of failing doesn't mean you're a failure as a person, it just means you'll need to pick up pieces and start over.
When you are trying to create teamwork, consistency is one of the most important things to have. Consistency can be something small, like holding team meetings every other week, or it can be bigger, like having specific roles and responsibilities.
As with any change, people may need time to get used to it. Make sure to give your teams enough time to feel comfortable with their jobs before asking them to do new things!
Consistency is also very valuable in creating teamwork. If someone has done their job for several weeks now, then they should not be asked to do something different unless there’s a reason.
It could be because somebody else is no longer able to perform their task, or because their performance has dropped below what it was. Or maybe they just don’t seem interested in doing that kind of work anymore.
Whatever the case, if we know that person well, they probably would agree that they aren’t performing well right now. It’s our responsibility as leaders to make sure that never happens by giving them some opportunities to prove themselves again.