Teamwork is one of the most highly sought-after soft skills by employers as it is an integral aspect of most careers. Being able to innovate through collaboration is an exciting prospect. But teamwork is more than just being a “people person.” There are actually a host of skills involved in being a good team member.
If you are interested in learning teamwork skills, how to build those skills, and what to expect in job interviews, then read on as we’ll discuss all those topics and also list some teamwork courses you can complete.
What Is Teamwork?
Teamwork is quintessential to a functioning workplace as employees use their problem-solving skills collaboratively to reach a common goal. Some key teamwork skills include communication, active listening, and collaboration.
Let’s discuss those and more in detail below.
Effective communication among team members is essential as you can expect to be talking in person, via phone, and virtually, as well as emailing your team. Concise, clear, and compassionate communication will help your team complete tasks which will in turn help you stand out to your employers. The best way to think about team communication is to shoot for a tone that is both professional and friendly.
Listening skills are often forgotten when discussing teamwork traits, yet they are very valuable. The ability to really listen to your team members’ and leader’s ideas, queries, and feedback is crucial. This skill can help improve collaborative work as well as your individual work. It is important to look at feedback as something that will benefit you, rather than allowing yourself to become demoralized by it.
Honesty and Responsibility
Being a team player requires honesty and a sense of responsibility for your work. There will be times in your career when another team member may be sick, for example, and you will need to take on extra work for the team. As the saying goes, “there is no I in team.” A good team member will be aware of their own needs and those of others and will be reliable when the team needs help.
The creativity and innovation that goes into group work will prove your team’s collaboration skills. Each individual may have a different skill set, and by working together toward your goals, you can generate a far better outcome than you would be able to alone. The collaboration process will depend on your career, but it usually involves sharing ideas, improving processes, and reaching goals together.
Team Member vs Team Leader
Both team members and the team leader are vital parts of group work. The team leader motivates the team and manages conflicts between team members. Leadership requires a range of skills, from those listed above to emotional intelligence, logical thinking, problem-solving, and understanding people’s differences.
Ways to Improve Your Teamwork Skills
You can continuously improve your collaboration skills, no matter what education or employment level you are at. Below are some ways to improve your teamwork skills.
Practice Being Open-Minded
Being open to new ideas and opinions will make you a better team member. Try to actively listen to those around you by looking at them directly and focusing on what they are saying. Be mindful of those around you and think about how you can improve your interactions with others.
Start a Team Project
Whether it’s creating a YouTube video with a group of people, working for a charitable organization, or building an app, working with others will teach you collaborative skills firsthand. Other possible avenues to work on these skills include political activism, environmental conservation projects, and team sports.
If you want to learn how to organize professional email and phone communication for a team, the Internet is a great resource.
Practice Positive Thinking
The ability to approach problems and other people from a positive mindset is extremely useful in the workplace. The smallest adjustments to your thinking can make a difference.
For example, instead of seeing feedback as a failure, think of it as your team leader or other member trying to help you improve. Another example is instead of complaining about a particular issue, see it as an opportunity to solve a problem. You can practice positive thinking by doing mindfulness meditation or keeping a journal on your thought processes.
Job Interview Techniques and Teamwork Skills Certifications
During a job interview, your prospective employer will likely ask you some teamwork related questions. To demonstrate that you are a good team member, you will need to think of examples both in and outside of your career when you have displayed some of the skills listed above.
As a guide, try to structure your answer as a team issue that needed resolving. Explain how you professionally and positively resolved the problem, and how that helped the team reach its goal.
We have put together a list below of several online certificates that will boost your CV and prove to employers that your teamwork skills are up to par.
Time: 10 Hours
Matthew A. Koschmann, PhD, teaches this online course. In it, students will learn to make better decisions, improve virtual group communication, be more creative, manage conflicts, negotiate, and work more effectively as a team.
Price: Free Course/$49.21 for the Certification
Time: 6-8 Hours
EdX offers a practical guide to working in teams. Students will learn about different types of teams, commitment, team roles, communication, the lifecycle of teams, leadership, what makes a high performing team, and conflict resolution.
Time: 2 Hours
Students of this course will learn to use their emotional intelligence to balance personal needs, build authentic work relationships, make good decisions, communicate, manage work with a multi-disciplinary team, and identify effective collaboration strategies.
If you are still wondering if teamwork is a worthwhile skill to build, then consider the number of jobs in which you would work entirely on your own. Now consider the vast quantity of careers in which you would be working with a team. Teamwork helps develop new ideas, create a better work atmosphere, solve problems, and helps companies reach their goals.
So, start a project or group activity, take an online teamwork course, and practice active listening and communication with friends as you learn the value of teamwork firsthand.