Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 22 August 2022 | Published 12 June 2021

Updated 22 August 2022

Published 12 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Teamwork skills are vital to your career success, regardless of your job title or industry. If you're able to work well with your colleagues, managers and customers, you can complete your tasks more efficiently which results in a more pleasant and productive workplace. In this article, we explain what teamwork skills are, examples of good team skills and ways to attain and improve them.

What are teamwork skills?

Teamwork skills refer to abilities and qualities that enable you to work well with other people in projects, meetings, conversations or other forms of collaboration. The team working skills you have are dependent on your ability to actively listen, communicate effectively and be honest and responsible. Besides group work skills, you can acquire and use other soft skills to become an outstanding teammate at work, some of which we'll discuss in more detail below.

Related: What Is Teamwork? (Plus Skills and Examples of Teamwork)

Why are teamwork skills important?

Developing good teamwork skills is important for the following reasons:

Supportive work environment

With strong teamwork skills, you can provide support to struggling colleagues so that your team won't fall behind in assignments and projects. This can improve the overall productivity and efficiency of business operations. Good teamwork is important because it helps create a system to ensure deadlines are met and work quality remains high.

Effective problem-solving

Proper collaboration enables a team to solve challenging problems. Brainstorming is a great way for your team to exchange ideas and devise strategies for overcoming obstacles and managing projects. By working with your colleagues toward a common goal and contributing useful ideas, you can help your team find the most effective solutions to problems.

Enhanced creativity

In today's competitive business world, companies need to come up with new ideas to succeed. If you can collaborate well with a diverse group of people with unique personalities and perspectives, you can help build an environment that supports individualism and creativity. As a result, your team will be able to constantly generate fresh ideas.

Improved morale

When you contribute an idea that produces results, you'll gain the trust and confidence of your teammates. This can make your team a more cohesive and motivated unit. By working together, you and your teammates will feel a deep sense of belonging and strong commitment to one another, which can lead to higher morale.

More learning opportunities

Group work skills enable you to build a strong rapport with your colleagues, some of whom may have certain technical skills that can help you progress in your career. If you prove yourself to be a good team player who is committed to your company's success, your colleagues will be happy to mentor you. You can also coach other teammates with your new skills to improve the overall performance of your team.

Teamwork skills examples

Teamwork skills consist of a wide range of soft skills, which you may already have or be able to develop over time. Below is a list of important team working skills examples:

Communication

The ability to communicate clearly and efficiently is one of the most important group work skills. When you're working in a team, you need to be able to share relevant information, opinions and ideas. You can develop different kinds of communication skills to become an excellent teammate, including verbal and non-verbal.

Related: 4 Types of Communication

Active listening

Similar to communication skills, active listening skills enable the members of your team to clearly understand and trust one another. Such skills involve intently focusing on an individual while they're sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings. If you're a good listener, you can ask appropriate follow-up questions to gain a deeper understanding of what they're communicating.

Honesty

Being honest and transparent in your workplace may mean getting into a disagreement, giving unfavourable updates or explaining your failure to complete an assignment on time. This may sound challenging to execute, but it is necessary to be frank with expectations. When information is communicated honestly, it will forge trust and goodwill within the team.

Responsibility

In a teamwork situation, it's essential for all parties involved to understand their roles and responsibilities and make the necessary effort to complete their work properly and punctually. If every team member takes responsibility for their own tasks, the entire team will be able to function efficiently and focus on achieving its goals.

Collaboration

The purpose of teamwork is to enable a group of people with different talents and skill sets to work together toward a common goal. To build a great team, you and your teammates need to share ideas and help each other produce better results.

Empathy

Being empathetic toward your teammates can help you understand their feelings and motives. If you take the time to observe and understand how they think and work, you'll know how to communicate with them in the most effective ways.

Awareness

As a member of a team, it's essential that you learn how to develop an awareness of the team dynamic. For instance, if a certain teammate has the habit of dominating conversations and refusing to let others share their ideas, you can try encouraging them to be more proactive and contribute their views on the project. On the other hand, if someone in the team is quiet and hesitant to express their opinions and feelings, you can create a safe space for every teammate to feel confident and comfortable to contribute their ideas and skills.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definition and Examples

Conflict resolution

Conflict is an inevitable part of any team effort, especially if you're collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds. To become a good team player, you have to be adept at handling conflicts as they arise. By being an effective mediator, this ensures issues don't escalate and affect the performance and morale of your team.

Problem-solving

Instead of focusing on negative outcomes, a good problem solver is able to stay calm when an obstacle or problem arises and help their team come up with an effective solution. If you're skilled in solving problems, you can identify inefficiencies that are hindering your team's success and make the necessary adjustments to improve those processes.

Related: Soft skills: Definition and Examples

Time management

In a team, one person's work may have an impact on another's. Being able to manage your time properly can help ensure that processes will run smoothly and projects will be completed according to schedule.

Leadership

Regardless of whether you're the leader of your team, you'll be a valuable team player if you have strong leadership skills. You can demonstrate leadership skills by promoting collaboration, mentoring new teammates and encouraging others to learn and grow. If you're a leader, you also need to have good teamwork skills so that you can spread knowledge and resources, motivate your team members and contribute more to your organisation's success.

Related: 10 Types of Leadership Styles

How to improve your teamwork skills

Developing skills to work well in a team takes time and effort, but you can definitely attain these qualities if you have enough discipline and determination. Take the following steps to become a better team member:

  • Get honest feedback: Identifying your own areas of improvement can be difficult. Find a colleague, mentor or friend who can provide you with honest feedback on your strengths and weaknesses as a team player.

  • Set personal goals: When you set out to improve a particular teamwork skill, use your observations and feedback from other people to set relevant, achievable and time-constrained goals. Consider using the SMART method to set the right goals for your career.

  • Understand your role in your team: Every member of a team has their own roles and responsibilities. To become a good team worker, you need to know your role clearly so that you won't overstep boundaries and cause confusion or conflict within your team.

  • Practise: If you want to see improvement in your teamwork skills, you have to practise them whenever you have an opportunity to do so. Pay close attention to how you interact in teamwork settings both in and out of work. Make a conscious effort to practise the specific teamwork qualities you intend to improve.

  • Maintain a positive mindset: It's essential to have a positive mindset when you're working with other people because it can help you and your colleagues overcome obstacles, setbacks and conflicts. Try to foster a supportive and caring work environment so that your teammates will be encouraged to think positively and achieve bigger goals.

  • Learn from people with great teamwork skills: When you see people who show excellent teamwork skills, take note and identify the specific qualities that make them stand out. Then, practise those skills when you're interacting with others in your workplace.

If you have great teamwork skills, you'll have an advantage whether you're seeking advancement in your current career or looking for a new job. Spend some time assessing your existing skills and determine which areas you need to improve. With enough practice, you'll be able to build strong teamwork skills that make you more valuable to your organisation.

Explore more articles