What do sports teams, group projects, and the workforce all have in common? Teamwork! Teamwork plays an important role in many of our social aspects of life including classroom activities, social activities, and employment activities. There is a large chance you will need skills to work with others to accomplish a goal. Although many of us understand the importance of teamwork, working with others in a cooperative manner can be challenging.
Let’s first talk about why teamwork is important. According to an article by Yale, teamwork allows for individuals to gain insight into different perspectives and try new problem solving techniques. In other words, teamwork allows for people to think outside of the box and collaborate ideas. However, to collaborate ideas individuals must communicate and listen to one another – another skill that teamwork teaches. Group Dynamix’s article notes that teamwork is an important place for individuals to practice active listening skills and open communication about an idea. Teams offer a space for individuals to brainstorm together and while listening to each other communicate ideas they are then able to collaborate on a solution. According to both articles teamwork can improve bonds between team members as they learn to work together. This bond can in turn decrease negativity towards one another, improve self-confidence, and provide them with a space to learn new skills from each other.
As you might be able to tell now, there are many benefits to teamwork, but we all know how difficult group work can be so let’s chat about how we can improve our teamwork skills. One way to do this – especially with children – is to make the activity fun or exciting, we all learn better when we are excited about something and the same is true about working as a team. Another way to improve our team skills is to ask for feedback in an accepting manner – asking for feedback allows us to recognize ways that we can improve. For example, maybe we did not communicate as well as we thought we did or maybe we were more controlling than collaborative, feedback can provide us with a unique insight on how we can better ourselves.
Psychology Today notes in their article that high levels of clear communication and active listening can increase a team’s productivity and encourage more effort from team members. Psychology Today also notes that having a higher level of social awareness can improve teamwork. In other words, understanding what someone might be feeling or thinking (empathy) in the group can increase your cooperation with them and vice versa.
We know that working in teams can be difficult, but we hope that this article helps give you a new look at teamwork.