‘’Remember teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.’’
The above proverb by Patrick Lencioni can very well highlight the importance of working together in teams. This ability is one of the most vital soft skills that often taught in universities to be applied in the business world as well as required in professional life. But what actually is teamwork and why is it so important? It’s one thing to define teamwork but perhaps another to define it in a way that works, because it’s not just your definition that counts. So, how to define teamwork? Well the obvious place to start is with a dictionary. Typically, teamwork is defined as:
Co-operation between those who are working on a task.
Teamwork is generally understood as the willingness of a group of people to work together to achieve a common aim. But it is not exclusive to teams. It might be random co-operation, effectively working together just for periods of time. To define teamwork, it might also be worth clarifying what it’s not, and thinking about the distinction between teams and teamwork. In my view, a team exists when individual strengths and skills are combined with teamwork, in order to produce meaningful results for the team members and the organization. A team just combines individual strengths with a shared commitment to performance.
For all the positives thatteamwork can bring, there are some disadvantages to consider. Even if we have the best team, it is still made up of people and since we are all different, we cannot avoid conflicts. Several factors can also hamper the workability of the team, such as stress, tension in the working environment, unsuitable leader (because a team is nothing without its leader)or unwillingness to work.
As we already discussed what teamwork is and what the flaws are, we should look at how can we improve it.While the terms “teamwork” or “team building” may bring visions of company retreats practicing trust falls, in actuality building team morale, trust and productivity doesn’t have to involve pricey trips or clichéd exercises. First of all, as a leader you have to lead by example. Treat your own responsibilities and relationships with coworkers the same way you want others to. Then you should definitely build up trust and respect. Team members must trust each other to each do their part as well as trust their leaders to be guiding them in the right direction. Another important thing is to set defined goals. Each team should know exactly what they’re working toward including what goals they need to be hitting and when. This will provide added motivation and incentive to work together. The team members should be allowed to actively take part in decision-making. Having a sense of personal involvement in this process will solidify the connections in the team, making the people feel like they are important part of something rather than just a minor piece of the puzzle. Another useful tip is to start team traditions. Help your people with finding a way for the team to connect on another level that isn’t just work-related.
Since we live in a society, there is no way to pass a day of not working as a team.No matter if it's in your family, school, work or even on the street you have to communicate, collaborate, take responsibility, share your ideas and many other components of teamwork. This way we create something that divides the task and multiplies the success. Because together everyone achieves more.
by Inna Boynova
YE "Make social inclussion happen" in Costinesti, Romania