In life, living and working alone on your own is impossible. Be it a school science project, a working committee, or a recreational group, people have to work together to achieve a goal. With how different everyone is, working together can prove to be a difficult task. Here are 10 tips to ensure you work better as a team.
10 Tips That Will Help You Work Better As a Team
1. Make Sure to Set Clear Goals
When a team is created, it is usually to serve a certain purpose. This purpose might be clear to some but to others, it might just be a blur of words and activities. It is important for the goals of the group to be stated clearly for the benefit of everybody.
Also, in many cases, team members have personal goals that they look forward to fulfilling while in the group. It is important to bring these goals to light. That way not only will people help you achieve your goal; you will not be a hindrance to the work balance as your personal goals will be considered.
2. Assign Roles and Responsibilities
The role and responsibilities of each team member should be clearly defined at the beginning of the process. These responsibilities should be assigned based on the weaknesses and strengths of individuals. For instance, a person who likes to make comics could be given the role of advertising and a computer guru could handle technical issues. This way, your team runs as efficiently as possible.
Assigning responsibilities also severely reduce the rate of failure in groups. This is because tasks are easily doable bits that form a whole when put together. In an event of failure, it is easy to identify the responsible party and push him/her to improve next time.
3. Ensure There Is Good Communication
In any system, communication is key. Communication is an essential part of everyday life and a backbone of any successful team. Communication does not just mean that one party talks and the other hears; it is when one party speaks and the other listens. In good communication, information, suggestions, feelings, etc. are passed from one person to another.
Skilful communication ensures that the team runs smoothly. It creates awareness and understanding between teammates. It is the way by which roles, responsibilities, and goals are set. Without effective communication, the team is as well as doomed.
4. Create Trust within the Team
In a system where people have to trust each other with their collective success, it is important to build trust among each other. Trust is a solid block that will hold the team up and allow each person to focus on their part of the job. This is because they trust the others to also play their part in ensuring the success of the group.
In addition, this trust can be built by a group discussion where everyone talks about their personal lives. Some studies suggest trust-building exercises to boost the team while some others just suggest that the team spends a lot of time together.
5. Decisions Should Be Made Together
Making decisions for the group is not the responsibility of the group leader. Everyone’s ideas should matter in the process. In making a decision for the group, each and every individual opinion should be sought and respected.
It is important to remember that our environments and personalities differ. As such, our opinions might be vastly different. Do not let this drive a wedge between the group. If necessary, decisions can be put to a vote but only as a last resort. It is better to try to convince one party or even come to a compromise.
6. Reward Every Achievement
No matter how little the achievement is, it is essential to reward people for doing their work well. Whether this reward is in form of praise, award, or gifts, every act of diligence would be rewarded. It makes personnel feel appreciated and motivated to do more. In a company system, a teammate of the year award, people person of the year award, and other such seemingly meaningless awards will greatly improve teamwork.
The human brain loves to be praised. When appreciated, it does not want to lose the respect of others hence, individuals work even harder to maintain their status. Everyone else who has had to clap for a successful individual would also love to stand in the person’s shoes thus enhancing their work. Care should be taken, however, to not let these awards divide the team.
7. There Should Be Constant Check-Ins
Team members should constantly check up on each other and their works. A social media chat room could be created and regular meetings should be scheduled to discuss the ups and downs of teammates’ personal lives and team responsibilities. This promotes trust, enhances communication, builds understanding, trust and so much more.
Also, when a teammate is stuck on his/her part of the project, they can quickly call the attention of the rest of the team to the problem.
Hence, a solution can be found and the team will be more effective. Frequent communication also enables teammates to communicate their inability to fulfil their roles so the project will not be put in jeopardy.
8. Celebrate the Team’s Diversity
In a professional or school team, it is very unlikely that everybody is from a similar circumstance, social standing, and even city. These differences should not be seen as a weakness but as a strength.
A group with 7 people from 7 different cities with 7 different skills will usually have a more beautiful project than with 7 completely similar people. This is because the first group pulls 7 different experiences into its project. Instead of a monotone work, their project will have diversity and will usually be unique as compared to the project of the second group.
9. Create Regular Brainstorm Sessions
For a group to work better as a team, everyone must have a say in the matter of the type of project to do and how to go about it. This is where brainstorming comes in. Brainstorming is a group discussion aimed at producing ideas and ways for problem-solving.
When the entire group is part of the project, they will be excited to see their ideas put into the play and be more willing to help the project come to life thus, ensuring a responsive, happy, and efficient team.
10. Select the Right Team Leader
A leader is not an authoritative, dictatorial person but a person who values trust, hard work, team spirit, and people’s opinions. To be a leader is to be ready to succumb to the people’s wishes and to be able to hold steadfast unto decisions. It is to be kind yet firm, to be as soft as foam yet as solid as a rock. A team leader is a person in front of a tug of war game. He is at the forefront and bears the brawn but knows that he needs to support of every other member to actually win the game.
Choosing the right leader is the second most important tip to work better as a team after communication. The right team leader will act as a cement to maintain the group. Therefore, teammates should study each other thoroughly before deciding. It is important to note that leadership is dynamic.
The person who is most fit to lead might not be noted right away but later into the group project or the former leader might no longer function as effectively, therefore, need a replacement. In these situations, it is important to discuss the new developments and decide on the change of leadership.
Team works are not easy. Many people would rather work alone as they feel it is more flexible, assured of success, and overall easier on them. But with the tips above, working in a team will feel like a cool breeze on a hot day and all the teammates will be content, happy, and satisfied.
I hope you find this piece helpful. If you do, please leave a comment in the comments section.