Team-building and teamwork skills are essential in the workplace and highly desirable skills to possess when seeking a new job or promotion. Teams working at their potential generate more productivity and better solutions than if all the individual members had worked independently.
How can you be a better team member? How can you get your team to work more effectively as a team? How can you lead your team to success? Here are the next five tips for creating better teams.
1. Focus on Professionalism. The reality of life is that we all have certain types of personalities that clash with our own but for teams to work you have to put aside these petty differences and focus on the positive aspects of all team members. Remember that you are not forging lifelong friendships with your team you simply need to work together to achieve your goals. Downplay people’s negative traits and focus on their positives ?- just as they will yours.
2. Celebrate Differences/Diversity. One of the best trends in society as well as the workplace has been a growing diversity of people — by race ethnicity gender and age. Diversity introduces new ways of thinking and leads to new ideas and better decisions. Rather than feeling uncomfortable that most of the team does not look or act like you celebrate their individual differences and the value that each brings to the team.
3. Be Enthusiastic. Even if you generally prefer to work by yourself the reality you are face is that teams in the workplace are here to stay. One way to make the best of the situation is to jump into the team experience with as much enthusiasm as possible. Enthusiasm is contagious so not only will your enthusiasm help you feel better about being a team member it will lead other team members to also become more enthusiastic.
4. Share the Work/Do the Work. The best teams are those in which each member plays a vital part in work that results in superior performance; thus it is imperative that each member not only feels he or she plays a vital role but actually does so. But sharing the work is only part of the equation. The other part is that once the work has been assigned each team member must be accountable to complete the tasks. Much as been written about the “free-rider” problem within teams but with individual accountability within the team people cannot hide from their team responsibilities.
5. Clarify Responsibilities to the Team. Often one of the main causes of team members not completing their work is not because they are “slackers” but because they simply do not understand their role on the team — or the importance that their work will lend to the team. The key here is that each team member must totally understand his or her role on the team and responsibility to the team so the team can succeed.
Adapted from an original article by Randall S. Hansen Ph.D. from www.livecareer.com
Bonus: Here are some tips to improve teamwork within your organization