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Everyone needs teamwork at some point in their professional journey, even freelance professionals.
If you decide to work at a coworking, for example, you can eventually partner up with someone for a job. So, it’s important to learn how to deal with professionals who are different from you.
The use of the word “deal with” makes teamwork look like something difficult, when, in fact, it is the exact the opposite!
Collaborative work brings many benefits, including expanding abilities and exchanging knowledge.
Having contact with different people who have different perspectives and ideas also contributes to this innovation-prone environment.
Do you want to learn how to be a team player?
Check out the tips below for an effective teamwork!
After all, what is teamwork?
Teamwork is related to performing an activity together, whichever the activity.
The concept is not restricted to the job market, and it can be put into practice in every area of your life. From a college project to building popular houses, everything can benefit from teamwork.
This happens because whenever people get together to solve a problem or create something new, the dynamic is very different from working alone. It’s like there’s a brainstorming of ideas, thoughts, and perspectives focusing on the same result, which, in most cases, speeds up the problem-solving process.
Now that you know what teamwork is, it’s important to learn what it is NOT about.
Teamwork does not mean being disorganized
Many professionals consider teamwork to be messy and disorganized and, therefore, relate it to a difficulty in making decisions and building consensus.
In a way, the more people involved in a process, the bigger its complexity, since there are many different ideas on the same topic. But this doesn’t mean being disorganized.
So, it’s important to put together a balanced group that is completely result-oriented. So, even if people have different ideas, they tend to complete each other instead of getting defensive and trying to contradict one another.
Advantages of teamwork
Putting together a team of qualified professionals isn’t always easy or cheap. However, we can guarantee that the benefits you get out of this are worth the investment.
Multitude of ideas
When it comes to entrepreneurship, having the same idea and vision can be a downside, considering how fluid the market, commercial and customer relationships are.
Teamwork allows analyzing these factors under different points of view, since all the professionals involved are focused on the same objective.
Opinions that add up
One simple question: how many times did you have an idea you thought was good but didn’t know how to put it in practice?
Many times, an outsider’s point of view can be the difference between putting the idea to work or not.
What’s best is that, while you’re discussing, you realize an idea not always erases the other. Most of them add up to contribute with a multidisciplinary approach of the same topic.
Creativity levels up
Another pro for teamwork is the creativity factor. By working in teams, people get to produce more and better with a lot more creative energy involved in the process.
Therefore, the work environment becomes welcoming to innovative ideas.
How can you be a team player?
Now that we already know the advantages of teamwork, we have some bad news to give you: building a creative team who has ideas the sum is not always an easy task.
Just like with any other group, internal conflicts may arise and they need to be solved. Individual differences will only create an innovative environment if the members of the team are working in harmony.
To help you, we’ve compiled some tips to boost your team’s performance. These are strategies you can use to have even more productive team players.
Check them out:
1. Learn to manage conflicts
Conflicts will appear in most work environments, whether we’re on a team or not. It’s the excess in competition, the professional who doesn’t deliver and gets in the way of the rest of the team, and so on, so forth.
To have the intended results with teamwork, you need to control the conflicts and lead them with clarity, in a way everyone involved can give their opinions. This is what we call crisis management.
To achieve this, you need to make it clear that the dialogue should always complement ideas instead of competing about which one is better. But remember that, healthy, well used, competition can bring benefits for the general performance of the team.
2. Learn to live with different ideas and personalities
To come up with a collaborative and productive team, it’s essential that you know how to deal with their differences not only in ideas and opinions but also in personality.
Not everyone in a team has the same way of behaving and understanding the world. Aspects of your personal life will most likely end up showing up during the tasks.
One of the ways to go about this potential problem is by practicing empathy, which means, the process of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.
You can also promote a feedback culture, so the professionals on your team will be encouraged to give and ask for feedback, thus learning if they are going through a situation that stops them from performing well at the same time you put yourself available to help.
Personality differences don’t put a stop into effective teamwork. Even shy, introverted people can actively take part in the processes and feel a part of a well-structured, dialogue-prone team.
The truth is that teamwork depends on the multitude of perspectives, knowledge, and living experiences. Stepping out of your comfort zone and accepting diversity is a part of this process.
3. Good communication to avoid misunderstandings
Many times we choose the wrong words and end up generating chaos instead of clearing up a situation.
As important as communicating well is the exercise of trying to understand what your co-worker really means with what they say.
If something is not quite clear, it’s worth asking them again, asking for a clarification so you don’t perform a task you weren’t supposed to, thus harming your co-workers.
Misunderstandings can be avoided and, if they aren’t, they can be turned around if you open up an honest and committed communication line.
4. Be proactive and go beyond what’s expected of you
One of the main pillars of teamwork is making an individual effort in favor of the team.
When there are many people working on a project, it doesn’t mean that your individual contribution is less important. On the contrary, you need to go beyond what’s expected of you, to take the first step instead of always waiting for information and guidance.
Within a team, even if there’s a team leader, everyone needs to be proactive and effectively contribute to the development of the proposed activities.
It’s worth mentioning that being proactive is different from being reactive and it’s not about just solving a problem but trying to be one step ahead of it.
5. Learn to listen to other opinions
Listening is more than a show of politeness, it’s the smallest effort for teamwork to fulfill its purpose.
When we talk through the entire time, we close the gap for other people to take part in the process. However, when we allow everyone to interact, we’re allowing a multitude of opinions about a topic, which can result in finding the right idea to achieve the result you need.
Creativity and innovation arise when diversity can flourish. Effective teamwork benefits from the plurality of ideas, turning them into actions.
6. Respect the time and autonomy of each team player
This is a very important topic. Different team players have a different time and this must be respected.
Some people have a fluid communication and they can expose their ideas with great speed. Meanwhile, others need time to feel confident enough to take part in the process and show their true potential.
It’s all a matter of being open and encourage individual participation within the team, so that everyone stands out for their own talents and skills.
Put teamwork into practice
Despite all the well-known advantages, teamwork is still one of the greatest challenges an entrepreneur faces. However, being a team player is essential because, sooner or later, you’ll probably have to work with a team.
Learning to go around conflicts that arise within the team, stimulating proactivity and everyone’s participation is the best way to achieve good results but keep in mind that this will require a great deal of commitment of everyone involved.
So, try to use these tips in your daily routine, not only in your work environment but also every activity that involves more than one person. So, whenever the moment comes that you’ll have to work with different professionals, you’ll certainly be prepared to deal with the possible conflicts that might arise.
Have you ever had problems while working in teams? How did you solve them? Let us know in the comment section below and, if you want to know more about this topic, read our post 9 challenges entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them.