“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” – Phil Jackson
Teamwork is important in every field of work as it enables you to be productive both as group and as an individual. To succeed, you must be willing to work along with others and achieve things together. We often have a natural tendency to put our own needs before others’. This isn’t a bad thing as engaging in self-compassion and self-care are important to create a good life for ourselves and for the people who matter most to us. But focusing on your own needs when working with others becomes a major hindrance as it limits your influence and the ability to work along with others. Sometimes as part of a team or a group, you may feel okay about identifying with the team and your role within it, but you may not actually do what you are asked to, or you may not be willing to adapt to your team’s requirements or collaborate with others. You might be excellent at what you do but if you are not willing to put aside selfish motivations and work for the greater good in a team, you may not be contributing to your or your team’s success. Each member of an orchestra has to play the notes on his instrument so that the net outcome is music and so is true for your personal or professional endeavours where teamwork is essential to achieve your objectives.
What is Teamwork?
Teamwork is a joint action by people, in which each person subordinates his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group. Effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. Accomplishing tasks through group of people requires collective responsibility and coordination. Happy work culture is a combination of teams working effectively and with collaboration. Teamwork is very important when it comes to raise overall productivity of any workplace to produce results.
Why is Teamwork competence important?
Teamwork is not only restricted to workplace, it is also important for your personal life situations to maintain better relationships in your everyday life. To be productive is to work in perfect coordination with those working beside and below you whether at work, or at home or in any other situation. Achieving success requires the support and cooperation of others and to gain support and cooperation of others requires your Teamwork competence. Your competence to share values and beliefs that guide the thinking and behaviour of those working alongside of you and your ability to have an empathetic outlook and understanding of their perspective increases the productivity of those you work with. If people you work with feel appreciated and valued for their contributions, they become more collaborative and are willing to share their insights and can take you closer to success.
Being a competent team player is one of the important quality you can learn ṭo develop in today’s work culture to get things done and ṭo achieve your goals. Research reveals that teamwork leads to human intelligence and increases cooperation while competing. Competitive mindset is important in today’s world, but can create isolation and might create interpersonal disconnectedness. Being cooperative to your coworkers, or colleagues, friends or family members helps you build healthy relationships and makes you a better team player. Being cooperative lets you overcome the unhealthy aspect of being over-competitive and you can increase your potential to come up with new strategies to work together effectively to accomplish goals.
What is your Teamwork competence?
Teamwork competence involves your ability to help other members of your team to achieve a common goal quickly and effectively and this requires a sense of maturity to rise above petty misunderstandings that may arise. Even if your role seems highly independent and you perform most of it remotely, you will still need to communicate with others and do it in the context of the organisation as a whole and depends on how well you are able to adopt and work along with your team members.
When it comes to working in a team, not everyone is well equipped to be a part of the team. But if you try and improve your teamwork competence, you will be able to work productively towards positive outcomes. To achieve this, you need,
• Communication skills like being able to ask and provide information or to receive and give feedback.
• Being able to collaborate, coordinate and willingness ṭo compromise or consider others ideas or perspectives .
• Having clear, common goals and expectations.
• Ability to understand the bigger goals, vision and values of the organisation you work for.
• Commitment to attain team’s mission/vision or goals.
• Personal responsibility and accountability for solving problems, completion of your tasks and outcomes.
• Ability to build trust among team members with right attitude and mindset.
• Conflict resolution skills and to work amicably with others in all kinds of situations.
• Ability to reach agreements and provide negotiating strategies.
• Ability to lead with empathy and to provide guidance and direction.
• Competence with the right knowledge, skill and capability to accomplish the given tasks.
• Belongingness to the team and being able to adopt and work towards a common goal.
Teamwork competence is important to embrace daily challenges, to solve problems, achieve things together and to sustain success in the long term.
How to improve your teamwork competence?
Better teamwork often produces far greater results than individual efforts and creates a harmonious working environment and effective relationships. The most effective teamwork is produced when all the individuals involved harmonise their contributions and work towards a common goal. To improve your teamwork competence is to handle individuals with different preferences, skills, experiences, perspectives and habits in a meaningful and sustainable manner. Here are some ways to improve your teamwork competence.
As part of a team, you should be clear about the priority of your tasks. You should be able to give and receive honest performance feedback and be able to explain your ideas as well as listen to others’. Encourage every member to bring diverseness to the effort to solve a problem, improve process and to reach goals. Ask questions whenever you want clarification or uncertain about something. Take time to reflect on events and interactions that took place and how they could have gone better. Disagreements should be expected and appreciated, but try not to create tension between others instead make efforts ṭo understand diverse opinions and mediate disputes or to resolve conflicts that arise among team members. You can do this by openly discussing or by directly talking with the person creating negative effects. Open, honest and respectful communication helps to express diverse thoughts, opinions and potential solutions to problems.
You should be able to understand the roles and responsibilities of other members. Showing support for one another like in moments of achievement, or helping in more difficult times makes you gain the support and commitment of others to accomplish your objectives. Creating the system and support that enables others to work to their strengths and system or support to minimise the impact of their weaknesses helps to look at other members of your team as collaborators rather than competitors. Being supportive in problem-solving and helping them to reach the end goal increases optimism and commitment of all the team members. Instead of creating a culture of blame, acknowledge failed strategies and be proactive in the face of obstacles or setbacks. Show enthusiasm when confronting any hurdles by being supportive and resilient.
Create a culture of accountability
When we think of accountability, we tend to think of holding others accountable when in a team. If a team is not working well together, it’s highly likely that every team member is contributing to the difficulty in some way, and each of them can take personal accountability to make the team more effective. Accept that you too are part of the problem and you are absolutely contributing to the situation. Take personal responsibility for solving the problem. This way, you can commit to work along with others and avoid jumping to conclusions and being judgmental when it comes to others’ contribution. Instead of finger pointing, take personal responsibility to resolve problems. Assess how you are contributing to the situation and how you can improve and generate creative solutions to achieve team’s outcomes.
Raise awareness of self and others
Self-awareness is an important aspect when it comes to teamwork competence. Understanding your feelings, beliefs, and values. When you are noṭ aware of yourself and others, you are more likely to believe that the behaviour of others as the result of their negative intent and you tend to see your beliefs and values as the truth as opposed to what is true for others. Failing to recognise valid perspectives of others leads to misunderstanding and devaluing their work. Take time to reflect on your emotions, core values, your assumptions about another person or situation, and your interpretations. Be aware of how your words, behavior and actions impact others and correct the behaviours that are negatively impacting the team.
Have clear expectations
Having clear expectations and setting clear goals demonstrates constancy of your purpose. If it is not clear of what role each team member plays, if people don’t understand the greater context and if everyone is in it for themselves, then it gets difficult to successfully reach teams’ objectives. This makes everyone in the team feel that their work is endless and exhausting. By setting specific measurable goal, you can communicate your expectations for their performance to help them prioritise and drive them to expected outcome. You too can have a clear sense of where your work fits into the total context of the bigger goals, overall vision and values.
“The best teamwork comes from men who are working independently toward one goal in unison.” – James Cash Penney
Recognise and value others’ efforts
You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When you help one another and value others’ efforts, you can harness the full interest and motivation of your team. They perceive that their service in the team is valuable and fits in the bigger picture and bring positive attention to their contribution. They become committed to achieving the team’s mission more enthusiastically and feel inspired to find innovative and creative ways to reach end goal.
Focus on elevating others
If you want your team to come together and achieve a goal, you need to put aside your selfish motivations and help others succeed. This creates an opportunity for growth and helping others to improve their skills can become a stronger contributor to the team and also puts your team in a better position to reach its goals. You can coach them to elevate their performance by getting to know them, understanding their challenges, concerns and things they are excited about.
Put others’ needs before yours
“The ratio of We’s to I’s is the best indicator of the development of a team.” – Lewis B. Ergen
The most quoted expression – there is no ‘I’ in a team stands true. Good teamwork competence involves working towards a common goal without letting the personal agendas get in the way. Although it is important to present and defend your point of view, being overly stubborn and unwilling to consider others’ ideas or needs obstructs good teamwork. Valuing others’ needs leads to high performance of the individual and team.
To conclude ..
Your Teamwork competence is the key to success in most areas of your life, work or business to achieve your goals and to be productive. But to achieve it requires that you manage your ego, develop humility, communicate effectively, resolve conflicts and ensure that your actions help the others to commit to one another and a common goal is important. Follow the above strategies to improve your overall sense of teamwork competence and to contribute to better outcomes.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” – Henry Ford