Talking about teamwork skills might not conjure up the most exciting feelings but building teamwork skills is paramount for creating a high performing team that consistently achieves goals and exceeds expectations.
You have probably heard the old (and trite) adage about what TEAM stands for: “together, everyone achieves more.” When people work together, each bringing their strengths to the table, great things can be accomplished.
Employers value the ability to work with a team. Proven teamwork skills are always sought after by recruiters and managers – they want to ensure employees will be able to function well in a team environment.
Teamwork Skills Definition
The definition of teamwork skills is simple: the ability of team members to work well together in every situation and empathize with each other.
Teamwork skills also include the ability to:
- Be mature enough to agree to disagree when needed
- Focus on and contribute to team goals, not individual ones
- Put the greater good of the team first, knowing that this is necessary to achieve team goals
- Check one’s ego at the door
5 Teamwork Skills to Master
Good teamwork skills can be developed. It is critical to know how to improve teamwork skills to achieve the well-oiled machine that drives results. Here are 5 teamwork skills to master when contributing to a team and working most effectively in team environments:
Every team benefits from members who know how to share information clearly and in a timely manner. Effective communicators know how to use both verbal and non-verbal clues in their communication.
Many team dynamics break down when issues amongst team members are not addressed. Taking the time to listen, ask questions, and empathize with your team goes a long way to ensuring lines of communication among team members remain open.
We all know the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. Building teamwork skills starts right here. Respecting others builds trust and admiration. It ensures that team members are willing to take risks and share ideas when they know that they will be respected no matter what.
When we work on a team, other people are relying on us to accomplish certain things. It’s critical that we are reliable because it affects other parts of the team.
Reliability is a key teamwork skill because people want to work with people who do what they say. They are on time to meetings and follow-up when and how they say they will. When all members of a team are reliable, a high-performance team can emerge and thrive.
The rubber really hits the road with this one. On a team, conflict is inevitable. Being able to take and give constructive feedback is critical for a team to be able to flourish. Conflict management is a teamwork skill that should be developed in every individual.
Ensure you address issues and concerns when someone is in a place or head space to receive feedback. Ask if you can share feedback and when it might be a good time to do so. No one likes to be taken off guard. Also, be ready to receive feedback. Listen, ask clarifying questions and repeat what you heard in your own words to ensure you understand and know how to avoid a similar situation in the future.
Empathy on both sides of conflict is key. Taking the emotion out and paying attention to the issue and what can be done to solve it is healthy and will result in win-win outcomes.
Strong Interpersonal-Relationship Skills
No one really loves negative feedback, but can you take it? You will need to be able to receive feedback and make changes as needed to grow as part of a team. Becoming a better you will not only serve you well now and in the future, but it will ensure your team is able to thrive as a whole.
Teamwork Skills Examples
One teamwork skill example that is a non-negotiable is honesty. Team members must be honest at all times for trust to be developed. Trust can also quickly be undermined if team members are dishonest.
It can be challenging for hard truths to be heard, but transparency is always better for the health of the team. Team members must be able to provide direct feedback with one another openly and honestly.
This can be hard to do well. Active listening is not waiting for someone to stop talking so you can insert your thoughts. Active listening involves asking questions to ensure an idea is understood. It involves clarification and requires patience. It involves not getting ahead of the conversation and staying present with the other person’s thought process.
A high-performance team culture always involves team members that have empathy for one another. Empathy involves putting oneself in another person’s shoes to gain an understanding of his or her perspective. It takes active clarification by asking questions and repeating what was said to ensure clarity.
Have you ever noticed that negativity is contagious? We can say the same for positivity. A positive team member sets the tone with optimism, irrespective of circumstance. This is the person you want to work with every day, and this is the person that holds the team together on a difficult day. A positive mind-set will always make a team member easy to be around and welcomed on any team.
Skills Development – Take One for the Team
Good teamwork skills can and should be developed since we all have to work on a team at some point. As such, we owe it to ourselves and those around us to ensure we have effective teamwork skills.
If you want to know more about how to improve teamwork skills for yourself or your team, we can help. Management Consulted offers Corporate Training and one-on-one coaching to help you and/or your team become the well-oiled machine it needs to be to crush your goals and work well together. Let’s get started!
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