How to Work Well in Teams

                                                By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC

                                                       www.careercounselortips.com

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Whether you’re working in a job that requires teamwork or you have a family with children, it’s important to know how to work well in teams. It’s not always easy to work in teams but the rewards can be worth it.

 

The key to working well in teams is to have great communication with everyone involved.

 

As a team member, communication is critically important. If you have a problem with other team members, talk to them directly to figure out how to solve the presenting issue. There are very few jobs where you will never have to talk to someone or resolve conflict so learn those skills now.

 

Communicating effectively can also make your team, as a whole, work better and accomplish your given tasks faster and with less stress.

 

Here are some other ideas to help you work well with team members:

 

  1. First focus on the work assigned to you. If you finish with your task before other team members, ask other members if they need your help.
  2. Meet your deadlines. If you must miss a deadline, apologize for not meeting it, tell your team when they’ll have your part, and then make sure you meet that deadline. The rest of the team will respect you more for owning up to your problem rather than blaming someone else.
  3. Be supportive of your team members. When discussing ideas for the project you’re working on, be sure to consider other team members’ suggestions, even if you don’t think they’ll work. Considering other ideas shows you’re interested in someone else’s opinion.
  4. Realize the project is a collaborative effort. It doesn’t belong to any one person. It’s important that each team member can claim ownership of some part of the project. By having ownership they’re more likely to put forth the effort to make the project a success.
  5. If you’re leading the team, let the team members know what’s expected of them. Establish clear objectives and agree on how each person will contribute. Be open to making changes if someone else can do a certain aspect of the job better than the person originally assigned to the task.  
  6. Motivate the team. Work on establishing and maintaining each team member’s morale and their motivation to succeed as a team. Give them a reason to want the team to succeed rather than riding off into the project sunset like the Lone Ranger.
  7. Work together on the plan. The team will feel more ownership of the project if everyone works together to set goals and establish deadlines for the various aspects of the job.

 Meet together periodically to check on progress.

  • Switch jobs among team members if necessary.
  • Everyone needs to pitch in to be sure the job is done correctly and on time.
  • Address and resolve conflict quickly.

Learning how to work well in teams is so important, not only in business, but also in families. Children need to learn how to cooperate for the greater good instead of being concerned only with their own good.

 

If you teach children about teamwork when they’re young, chances are good that they’ll be better team players when they grow up.

 

Practice these teamwork tips, and soon you’ll find better team cooperation and more successful team projects both in the workplace and at home.


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