What is Teamwork and Why is It Important?
Teamwork means working with a group of people in an effective manner to achieve a goal or outcome. Good teamwork means listening to other members of the team, taking everyone’s ideas into consideration, and working for the good of the group rather than individual gain. Each member of the team has a say and shares responsibility. A successful team is one where each persons’ unique skills and strengths are used to the advantage of the whole group. Those with good people skills make good team players, and skills like communication and a positive attitude make a team great.
The difference between an OK team and a great team is having members who are committed to the goal of the group and use their skills to encourage each others’ natural strengths in within the team.
Teamwork is vital in order to work well with colleagues and teammates. You will probably have to work as part of a team in many areas of life; from class projects to planning a birthday party. The better you work with others the more successful your team will be in achieving their goals. Employees often have to collaborate with others to complete tasks and projects, and having teamwork skills and experience will make it a much better experience. Even if you work well on your own being a team player is a valued skill for most jobs.
Developing and Demonstrating Teamwork Skills
The obvious way to enhance your teamwork skills is to be part of a team! However it’s a bit more complicated than just being in the group. The difference between a good and a bad team is how well they work together. You’ve probably worked as part of a team in the past, so try to think about what went well and what didn’t. If you haven’t got much experience working in a team why not sign up for some volunteering or do an extra project at work?
There are some great resources at the end of this article with information on being a good team player and building your teamwork skills. You can take a quiz to find out which role you usually take when you’re part of a team, then use that information to build your skills in the other areas, or strengthen your position.
Demonstrating your teamwork skills can be tricky – in an interview you’re usually on your own so you have to rely on your examples and explanations to show an employer you’re good at working with others. If you have an assessment centre or group interview that’s a great chance to let your team-work skills shine, but there are lots more ways to show them.
Always remember to use the STARRS model, and pick a time when you led your team to a great outcome, or overcame difficulty to still work well together. By talking about problems that could come up when working with others and then offering a solution you show that you’re willing to go the extra mile to resolve differences and ensure the team is successful.