Teams are generally defined as group of employees who are interdependent and teamed up to perform a particular task or project. Every team has a common purpose and a goal for which every team members puts his energy and effort for. Often teams are made to bridge gaps between different departments or they team up to achieve a short-term or a long-term specific goal.
Teamwork skills are traits and abilities that allow one to work well with others during conversation, projects or other collaborations. Teamwork skills are dependent on other soft skills you have like communication, active listening or empathy.
A company’s success is dependent on the collective efforts of all team members towards one common goal. When everyone adds their unique talent, creativity, and problem solving towards one mission, everyone wins. Employers instantly pick and prefer the candidates who can work in a team. Employers like to hire people who can work, collaborate and communicate well with others in a team. Irrespective of your role at work, you have to team up and communicate with several stakeholders including your clients, bosses and coworkers to efficiently complete a task.
Here’s an example from BrightSpyre.com from a JD of .Net developer
DHA Peshawar is seeking applications for the position of “Dot NET Developer”, responsible for building Dot NET applications using windows form, Asp.Net MVC, Web APIs, ……, and to coordinate with the rest of the team working on different layers of the infrastructure. A commitment to collaborative problem solving, sophisticated design, and quality product is essential.
The first trait of a good team member is to communicate efficiently with the rest of the team. Whether written or verbal message, it must be clear and concise, thus the whole team will be on the same level of understanding.
It’s natural to have a conflict when so many are working towards a single goal. Stay professional and try to mediate between the members having a conflict. Ability to negotiate and collaborate is a trait of a high performance team. Learn to disagree without being disrespectful.
Having respect and empathy for each other helps you understand others viewpoints. Understanding the way someone works helps you to efficiently communicate with them which will encourage a positive atmosphere for the team to work.
Purpose of working in a team is to increase synergy. Different team members bring different viewpoints, creativity and problem solving skills to the table. It’s important that one actively listens to the other team member’s input in the given situation.
It’s crucial to the team’s success that one can trust others with time-sensitive tasks. In a team, tasks and duties are assigned to different members and all are depending on each other for the work flow and successful project completion.
Every skill can be improved with practice and hard work. Some people naturally possess strong soft skills, others can always improve.
While it can take time and work to improve soft skills such as teamwork, it is certainly possible to build these qualities. Here are a few steps you can take to improve your teamwork skills:
Get sincere feedback : It is always a good idea to team up with some colleague to identify your weak areas for improvement. An honest feedback from a friend, mentor or colleague about your teamwork strength and weakness is first step to improvement of your team skills.
Set personal goals: After self-analysis and from the feedback of your trusted colleague, set achievable and time- constrained objectives. It will help you to track your progress towards improving your skills. Using the SMART goal framework is an easy way to set appropriate goals for your career.
Practice: It takes time and practice to see improvements in your skill set. Pay close attention to your teamwork interactions throughout the day both in and out of work. Take feedback and track your progress to achieve those specific qualities and improvements you wish to see in yourself.
Mimic others with strong teamwork skills: While working in a team, you will find some colleagues with exceptional teamwork skills, while others having less of these qualities. when you see a certain team member with great teamwork skills, take notes! Apply those qualities and skills into your own interactions.
Ability to work in a team will help you in your current career progression and when seeking a new opportunity. Evaluate your current skill set and set targets for the areas of improvement.