What Is Teamwork? (With Definition, Benefits and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 27 September 2022 | Published 22 November 2021

Updated 27 September 2022

Published 22 November 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.

Having excellent cooperation abilities is vital for success at work, regardless of the sector you work in or your job title. Working effectively with colleagues, clients, managers and others in your office may help you execute tasks more quickly while also creating a positive work environment. By learning more about teamwork, you may improve your ability to work in a team in your job. In this article, we answer the question, 'what is teamwork?', discuss why it's important and outline some examples of good teamwork skills.

What is teamwork?

Learning the answer to the question, 'what is teamwork?' can help you develop your personal collaboration skills. Teamwork is a talent that you may hone with consistent practice. It refers to your capacity to collaborate effectively with others to reach a shared objective. A team player puts the aims of their team ahead of their own. This soft skill enables you to collaborate as a team during work meetings. It also enables you to excel in professional partnerships.

Teamwork implies that individuals work in an environment of mutual support and trust, functioning cohesively with strong inter-group interactions. Teamwork entails appreciating the strengths of each other. It also creates increasing interpersonal maturity, where individuals can disagree constructively and respectively and where both challenge and support are important in making teams function.

Related: Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

Why are teamwork skills important?

At every stage of your career and in any field, you can expect to collaborate with people. Knowing how to work with people in an empathic, efficient and responsible manner may help you achieve your professional objectives, make a meaningful contribution to your organisation and create relationships with others. Building connections with others may lead to stronger professional rapport with co-workers, new contacts and potentially even new job chances. When there's genuine teamwork and collaboration, you can expect positive behaviours and outcomes like the following:

  • increased trust in your colleagues to deliver on their promises

  • higher productivity as you collaborate and leverage each team member's capabilities

  • increased positivity in the workplace

  • more discussions with open feedback and active listening

Examples of teamwork skills

Teamwork skills are the characteristics and talents that enable you to work successfully with others during meetings, discussions, projects or other forms of cooperation. Teamwork skills consist of a variety of different soft skills that you might attempt to improve over time. Strong teamwork abilities are dependent on your ability to actively listen, communicate effectively and be accountable and honest. There are several more soft skills that may help you be an excellent colleague at work. Outlined below are a few examples of characteristics that might help you enhance your collaboration abilities:

Responsibility

Within the collaboration dynamics, it's critical that all parties understand the job for which they're accountable and make every effort to perform these duties on time and to the required level. In an organisation, there are a lot of tasks that require group work. Your team or department may work together towards a similar objective. Taking responsibility for individual teams can help you ensure your team succeeds.

Communication

The capacity to communicate clearly and efficiently is an essential teamwork skill. It's critical to offer pertinent ideas, thoughts and crucial information when working with others. Good communication skills enable you to convey vital information to other team members whether you speak in person, by phone, email or chats. There are several forms of communication abilities, including both verbal and nonverbal communication. Listening intently, being nice, showing respect, asking questions when necessary and keeping appropriate body language are all elements that contribute to excellent communication.

Related: What Is Interpersonal Communication and Why Is It Important?

Active listening

Active listening skills, like communication skills, may help a team comprehend, empathise and trust one another. Active listening entails the act of making an effort to focus intensely on one person while they communicate their thoughts, ideas, emotions or feelings. When you pay close attention to someone while they express their thoughts and feelings, it shows them you're interested in their point of view. You may also ask follow-up questions to get further information from them.

Honesty

Being honest and open is an important teamwork trait to build trust within your team and organisation. It's important for you to earn trust as it is going to help have the opportunity to lead bigger projects or develop further in your career. Employers appreciate individuals who can recognise their mistakes and follow through on their commitments because it allows a team to work effectively.

Related: Top Transferable Skills to Include in Your CV

Conflict management and resolution

The capacity to manage disagreements among team members is an important teamwork skill. Employers appreciate applicants with great conflict resolution abilities because they can handle issues efficiently and fairly. An effective team player aims to alleviate workplace stress and encourages communication amongst conflicting team members while resolving issues to boost the team's efficiency.

Empathy

Empathy is the ability to comprehend one another and respond accordingly so that interactions can be productive. When you're empathetic, you can be more alert and have a greater grasp of how to collaborate with others. Empathy for your colleagues might help you better comprehend their motivations and emotions. Taking a moment to listen to others and learn how they think and operate can help you communicate effectively with them.

Collaboration

Teamwork helps a group of people with varied abilities and talents to work together to achieve a shared objective. Collaboration abilities include speaking effectively, actively listening to others, accepting responsibility for mistakes and valuing your co-workers. It's critical to collaborate with other colleagues to share some ideas, enhance each other's work and aid in the formation of a solid team.

Adaptability

Every team member is to accomplish whatever duty allocated for the team to function properly. Adapting to your work environment and operating outside of your comfort zone are valuable cooperation skills. For example, you may feel at ease working on a social networking site. If your manager delegated your responsibility to someone else because they need your assistance with a new email platform, it's best that you take your new position gracefully and focus on the newly given assignment. Oftentimes, adaptability is one of the key skill set especially if you are working in a dynamic and fast pace environment.

Awareness

It's critical in teamwork to enhance your capacity to be aware of the team dynamic at all times. For instance, if one person dominates the conversation or does not allow others to express ideas, it's critical to restore balance so that each member may contribute equally. Alternatively, if one colleague is more hesitant and shy to offer ideas, it's important to establish a safe environment to allow everyone to contribute their distinct talents and abilities.

How to improve your teamwork skills

While it may take time and effort to strengthen soft skills such as collaboration, it's feasible to do so. Outlined below are a few things you may do to enhance your teamwork abilities:

  1. Obtain candid feedback. To discover your own areas for development, find a trustworthy colleague, friend or mentor who can provide you with honest feedback about your team's strengths and problems.

  2. Establish personal objectives. Using your own observations and feedback from others to create attainable, meaningful and time-constrained goals that are going to help you improve one collaboration skill at a time. A SMART goal framework is a simple approach to creating acceptable goals for yourself.

  3. Join training and courses. In addition to learning from your mentor or supervisor, you may want to consider taking some courses on teamwork. It's important for you to keep up to date with the latest best practice in the market as it's always evolving and dynamic.

  4. Practice. Observing advances in your skill set requires time and effort. Pay close attention to your collaboration interactions both in and out of the workplace throughout the day and take deliberate measures to practise the precise traits you want to develop.

  5. Model others' good collaborative abilities. Take note of examples of effective cooperation and explain why this skill set is important and can apply to other cases.

  6. Develop your skill set: Developing collaboration skills might aid you in your profession and it's important to take the time to assess your existing skill set and find opportunities for development. You may begin to develop a solid set of collaborative abilities with time and practice.


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