Six Essential Skills for Teamwork

Six Essential Skills for Teamwork

As more and more companies implement an organizational structure that is based on teamwork, it’s essential to look at the qualities that contribute to an effective team? These are six key areas that team leaders and members to further develop.

In order for effective teamwork to be effective, there needs to be a base of an understanding of the mission and vision of the members of the team. Teams must consider these questions: What’s the mission that the organization serves? Why are we here? What is the reason we need to work as a team instead of a few participants? What is our plan for the direction we’re headed? Is this vision in alignment and shared by everyone? Do all team members know the way their work and job affects this vision, purpose or mission?

1. Communications

communication is crucial for teamwork that is effective. Communication is a combination of many elements – listening as much as body language and speed. It is important to remember that communication isn’t just the words we use. In actuality, face-to-face communication body language makes up nearly 55 per cent of the message being followed by spoken words with 7 per cent and speed, tone as well as pitch of 38 per cent. The figures change when we move to the phone call, where we are unable to communicate with body communication. When we used to email, the balance shifts because the tone is gone. In an email, our words have the power to carry weight.

In the team, communication is not just what is said but also what is not said in an individual group. What are the team members not talking about? What are the most difficult discussions that might have to be had?

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The key with communication, listening. How do you judge the quality of the listening in the team? Do team members pay to what other team members are saying and paying attention to other non-verbal signals that are present? On the other hand to team members are too eager to “get the word out” that they’re not really paying attention to what another person is saying, but instead are focussing on what they want to say.

What are the strengths of your team in the field of communication? Are there opportunities to further develop these?

2. Flexibility

In the business environment of doing more in more minor and continuous shifts being the norm, adaptability is more crucial than ever. The ability to adjust frequently, think critically, and remain resilient is vital for teams that are looking to stay on top.

How flexible is your team in general? The team members? What is the importance of adaptability in the context you work in?

3. Recognizing different perspectives

There’s vast diversity within every team. From different ways of working to different professional backgrounds or priorities to even generations, successful teams recognize the differences. A large part of this appreciation is the examination of the ways team members share similar characteristics and also how they’re different. Learning more about the team member’s styles and preferences can help create understanding and not cause conflicts. For instance, one team member might be very focused on detail, and another is more of a “broad strokes” thinker. Understanding our own preferences and habits allows us to be aware of our personal biases and how we should adjust our methods of interaction with one another. This subject is closely related to the team’s emotional intelligence.

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How do your team members appreciate and collaborate across other differences? What are the strengths, synergies, and strengths that you have within your team?

4. Reliability and Trust

Respect and trust is an essential necessity of any organization. If every team member doesn’t have the support of another and the team are operating in their own secluded areas. In the same way, getting things accomplished depends on the trust of the team members with each other and sharing the details and resources needed to complete tasks.

What is the degree of respect, trust you have in your team?

5. Emotional Intelligence or EI is receiving more attention from leaders these days.

Emotional intelligence refers to ” the capacity to be aware of the emotions of our own and the feelings of others, and for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions in our own lives as well as in our relationships.” (Daniel Goleman Harvard Business Review). Teams and individuals who have high emotional intelligence are self-aware (awareness of one’s own self) and social awareness (awareness of other people) as well as the ability to manage relationships (ability to create strong relationships) and to manage themselves (the ability to manage emotions).

6. Engagement, accountability and follow

through Teams are created to deliver outcomes. A commitment to the objectives (shared and personal) necessary to get the desired results is essential. The ability to follow through and accountability is frequently not present in the majority of teams. What are you, as a group, together, and as individuals committed to accomplishing or undertaking to take the team to the next level? What is your strategy for creating accountability and keeping track of progress? Do you have a way to check for progress on actions instead of assuming that every person is following all the way? Teams that are highly productive come to the same conclusion on how activities will be monitored and keep the focus on this regularly.

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What do you think your team is committed to? What do you think the team can do to support it in regards to accountability and following through?

In conclusion, In closing, what are the areas that your team perform well in? What areas can you and your team gain from further development?

Jennifer J. Britton is the founder of Potentials Realized and author of Effective Group Coaching (John Wiley and Sons 2010, 2010). Jennifer assists corporate clients as well as business owners to help them achieve the results and impact they want in the areas of leadership, teamwork, and performance issues by providing coaching as well as consulting and training. She regularly conducts team-building exercises and retreats (virtual as well as offsite) for governmental, non-profit as well as corporate customers. As a specialist in performance improvement, she is working with cutting modern organizations both online and in person. She is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach and a Certified Performance Technologist as well as a Certified Human Resources Professional. Jennifer provides group, group and executive coaching. Jennifer is well-known for her positive, result-driven and customized collaborations.

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