Everyone has been there, whether it’s at school or at work: stuck on a team that doesn’t work well together.
Being on a team isn’t always the easiest task, especially if you enjoy working independently and relying on your own skills.
However, thriving on a team is a must-have career asset – there are few jobs that allow you to work completely outside of a team focus.
How can you get over your differences, power through tasks and come out on top as a team?
Here’s how to make sure you’re ready to succeed the next time teamwork comes your way.
Whether you’re a leader or a follower, your contributions to a team depend on your reliability.
This is a top asset in your independent work as well, but it matters even more when other people are depending on you.
No one on your team will enjoy working with you if you demonstrate that you are not reliable. If you let people down, you’ll negatively impact morale, which can make it harder for others to get work done.
Whatever challenges you face with your work, make sure that you can be trusted to see through the tasks you commit to.
Communication is key to success in a team environment.
In order for a team to function it is crucial for team members to contribute their ideas, thoughts, and opinions, with the respect for others and for the work of the team.
Whether it’s due to personal dynamics or a preference for solitary work, avoiding communication can end in disaster for all members of the team.
Remember that it is important to keep your communications positive, and respectful. When you have something to say that may not get a favorable reception, try to offer constructive criticism and bring a solution to the table.
Being open to the opinions of others is a key component of teamwork – and it’s also one of the hardest skills to develop.
It’s easy to focus on discussion and planning without putting together the right information. A vital part of that process is giving everyone the chance to participate, and ensuring their input is head.
Problem-solving to build a solution can only happen when each team member is engaging in active listening.
Use your strengths
Everyone has their own set of unique strengths which bolster a team’s overall abilities.
Instead of designating work based on what’s convenient (or whoever is closest), the best teams look at each individual’s skills and determine how they can best contribute – as well as looking for opportunities to facilitate collaboration and improve performance.
Find out what each team member wants to do and what they excel at. Then figure out how you can divide and conquer the challenge before you.
Teamwork isn’t always the ideal working environment for everyone, as many people prefer to work on their own, or won’t be happy unless they can control every detail.
However, the combined power of any team is a force to be reckoned with – and the best teams often do the best work!