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How to Improve Teamwork and Collaboration Skills

January 23, 2019
13 min read
How to Improve Teamwork and Collaboration Skills
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It’s common now: people look for a company with a happy work culture rather than a company that offers the best of the best perks, designation or whatsoever.  And what is a happy work environment? Happy work culture is a combination of teams working effectively and having stronger collaboration skills.

Working effectively as part of a team is incredibly important for output, quality, morale, and retention. It is predominantly difficult to progress as a business without good teamwork in the workplace. It is clear from the facts as well: 86% of employees and executives state that workplace failures are a result of a lack of collaboration.

Here in this post, we will cover what all you need to do to improve your teamwork and collaboration skills and some details that make great work culture. Entirely, culture is about the workers and the need to keep it on the point that they have fun and it is one productive working environment. As business magnate Richard Branson said, “A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts.”

Let’s dive in.

Importance of Teamwork and Collaboration

Importance of Teamwork and Collaboration

You’ll get millions of results when you type the word “collaboration” in any of the search engines.

Wikipedia – “Collaboration refers abstractly to all processes wherein people work together.”

Oxford Dictionary – “United labor, co-operation; especially in literary, artistic or scientific work.”

Webster – “To work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.”

But exactly, what is collaboration?

A collaborative team is a slightly different version of a traditional team because its members have different skill sets. That holds the importance of collaboration. And as important is collaboration, the teamwork holds the same. Teamwork is the joint action of people working toward the same end goal.

Gary Vaynerchuk is a digital marketing entrepreneur and became the best selling author of Crush It! and The Thank You Economy and launched VaynerMedia, a brand consulting agency with a focus on social media. In a meeting, Gary enthusiastically says, “Take a break week, where we mix people who don’t work together and that makes a culture. The four-person teams can change the five-year macro vision for the business.”

For example, when a group of people is pulling a rope together, they are using the same or similar skills to accomplish their goals. Each individual uses its roles, teamwork skills, and their expertise to solve the problem.

In an article on Forbes What Everyone Should Know About Teamwork, Luis E. Romero stated, “Teamwork is the key to success in most realms of life and business but it is a challenge in itself. It requires that people manage their egos, develop humility, communicate effectively, resolve conflicts and above all, commit to one another and to a common goal.”

Build Your Teamwork and Collaboration Skills

Build Your Teamwork and Collaboration Skills

Collaborative strategy gets us to … go from “I think, you do” to “we think, we win.” — Nilofer Merchant

It all starts with truly leading your life but then extends to learning the skills to have better collaboration (pertaining to the importance of collaboration) and teamwork. You don’t have to go for formal training, just make it happen throughout the day.

Teamwork Skills in the Workplace

Teamwork Skills in the Workplace

  • Know Your Goal

Make sure you are not isolated from your project’s goal. Align your actions with the goal of your project and drive decision-making.

  • Strike off the habit of complaining

Our brain has a tendency to focus on the negativity. Complaining can take the whole ship down.

  • Use your time wisely

Be careful about developing time management skills because how you use your time can impact the project of your team.

  • Active listener

One important part to develop your teamwork skills: be an active listener to make your team member feel valuable and cut off misunderstandings.

  • Conflict management

Settle disputes through conflict management to mediate problems between team member.

  • Reliability

This is important to make sure you’re the one who sticks to deadlines and completes any tasks you are assigned.

  • Respectfulness

Simple actions in a team like using a team member’s name, making eye contact, and actively listening when a person speaks.

  • Share your enthusiasm

This will keep the excitement to work together ongoing throughout.

  • Communicate

Share ideas with each other and be open to feedback – the good and the critical.

  • Strong interpersonal skills

It is important to speak one-on-one and interact throughout properly.

Collaboration Skills in the Workplace

Collaboration Skills in the Workplace

  • Improve your self-awareness

Be clear of what you want and need from others and how you truly are.

  • Resource management

Successful collaboration requires to organize and share information.

  • Collaboration tools

Clear and timely collaboration using collaborative tools to communicate anytime anywhere.

  • Create a learning experience

Learning opportunities will make team active and create a desire to grow.

  • Encourage innovation

Get the right exposure to overcome the challenges and obstacles you face.

  • Expand your definition of success

Share your expertise with others so the team achieves big group goals.

  • Soft skills

Improve your soft skills that include dealing with your mindset, character, and how you handle projects.

  • Addressing problems

Find the obstacles to discuss problems cooperatively at all times.

  • Forgiving the mistakes

Holding grudges will only mislead the team always. Be willing to apologize and forgive at every step.

  • Live by purpose

Always remember to keep the purpose of the project and project goals always in front of mind.

Are You So Terrible at Teamwork?

We all have had those projects where the team suddenly falters because of any random reasons. Maybe a bad team leader or personal conflicts or misunderstandings. Howsoever it goes, the crux lies in inspiring the team to function as a genuine team. It can be incredible whenever teamwork happens on point, but when it doesn’, it calls up for strong company culture. Keeping them inspired is a challenge, but a handful of teamwork and collaboration quotes from some of the fabulous people of all times can do wonders.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford

“You need to be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins.” – Jim Stovall

The New Strategies on How to Improve Teamwork and Communication

“Although teams that are large, virtual, diverse, and composed of highly educated specialists are increasingly crucial with challenging projects, those same four characteristics make it hard for teams to get anything done”— Lynda Gratton and Tamara J. Erickson, Harvard Business Review

Your teamwork and collaboration skills can help you improve collaboration and communication throughout the organization. But how? Here are some effective ways to improve teamwork and collaboration in the workplace.

  1. Dealing With Change in a Positive Way

Dealing With Change in a Positive Way

This is one big thing to start for a collaborative effort for a happy team. Learn to embrace change in a positive way. We fear change at work because it is associated with fear of failure, fear of success, fear of criticism and fear of the unknown. Pull off the negative feelings that come along with a change in an organization. However, with the right attitude, you could make your employees be able to collaborate more effectively.

  1. Clarify Roles

Clarify Roles

Another major requirement of an effective team is to have a clear expectation of what role each team member plays. It is probably not possible for teams to work together effectively if there is any uncertainty regarding roles. It will create resentment. When you don’t how the role of one person is different from other, you’ll never be able to work together well. Start when you outline new goals for your team, make sure you also outline each member’s role and responsibilities to reach those goals.  

Pro tip: With ProofHub you get the option to set custom roles, and assign them to team members so they can work without getting rattled. 

  1. Use Project Management Tools

Use Project Management Tools

Bringing teams together is no easy feat. There are a variety of online project management tools to embrace flexible working practices,  help track projects and teams, from conceptualizing an initial idea to the final results to dramatically improve teamwork. Fortunately, with tools such as ProofHub, your team members can communicate and collaborate effectively without the need for face-to-face interactions. ProofHub is an easy way to organize projects and coordinate all the work the team does together. Teams can collaborate and set up projects using boards, calendars, and timeline. You can keep people on the same page with collaboration tools through instant messaging and email.

  1. Celebrate Individuality

Celebrate Individuality

Leaders don’t really treat their people with nearly the care they treat their bimmer. Remember your employees are as dear as your bimmer. Because definitely: “there is no “I” in team”. So, do it with care. It is a really bad idea to keep yourself unaware of the importance of individuality of each employee. In a study by Aachen University in Germany, it was found that 10% of people are early risers, 20% of people are night owls and the other 70% fall around in the middle. When you realize this distinction, you’ll be better able to celebrate each of them.  And you’re likely to have along with you a team working together. Ironically, forcing everyone to work in a similar manner, on the same time schedule will simply exploit your teamwork. Teamwork will naturally improve when you give them the liberty to work in a way that makes them the most productive. Respect the individuality of each worker to boost engagement, teamwork and employee retention.

Conclusion

Good teamwork will naturally when your team has the right teamwork and collaboration skills. Teamwork is something we are trying to acquire everywhere. Because together, everyone achieves more. It is one way to a healthy workforce where employees are treated as individuals. A good team paves the way for success. Get the most out of each of your team member to grow into a big empire.