How do you effectively work in a team? (+10 ways to be a great team member)
In this blogpost, we will be explaining how you can work effectively in a team. We will also be explaining the different types of teams and the various characteristics that define a successful team. Effective teamwork leads to not only increased productivity for an organization, but also innovative products and greater employee satisfaction.
How do you effectively work in a team?
To work in a team effectively, you can use the following methods:
- Understanding and accepting your role
- Using maximum effort
- Communicate openly and regularly
- Be open-minded
- Build healthy relationships with others
- Have a positive mindset
- Be respectful of others
- Avoid gossip and unwanted conversations
- Give credit where it due
- Be motivated and motivate others
Research has shown that teamwork leads to increased productivity. It also increases employee happiness in organizations. Thus, effective teamwork is becoming increasingly emphasized in work settings. However, these skills do not come all that easily to everyone. The different methods you can use to be a better team member as explained below:
Understanding and accepting your role
In a team, each of the members may play different roles. These roles can have varying responsibilities for which the individual has to be accountable. When a role is assigned to you, it is not only important that you understand it but also essential that you understand it.
If you do not understand what is required of you, the work process may not be as smooth. And if you do not accept your role fully, then you might not be motivated to put in your 100%.
Using maximum effort
Teams who are successful at their work have members who put in all their effort to achieve goals. Putting in your maximum effort means you don’t slack off or complete tasks in a half-baked manner. For great teamwork, all the members should share in the workload equally allowing the project to be completed at the right pace in the right time.
Communicate openly and regularly
Communication is greatly important for team work. Teams who work well together communicate regularly and frequently. Effective communication leads to better understanding of the goals and the project. It also leads to lesser misunderstandings and conflicts.
While communicating, it is also important to listen intently. This not only enhances the communication process, but also helps in team cohesion and bonding. The communication style that team members use is also important. For successful teamwork, the communication should be open and honest.
Since a team comprises individuals with differing opinions and thoughts, having an open-mind in the workplace is crucial. Being open-minded allows you to accept ideas and opinions you wouldn’t have otherwise. It also allows teams to step out of their comfort zones and try out new things. In this way, the team as a whole learns and develops together.
Build healthy relationships with others
Being a part of a team is almost like being a part of a family. While working in a team, getting to know each other is highly important. You need to develop healthy relationships with those around you. Getting to know individuals both inside and outside work life will greatly enhance the team cohesion. It also can uncover many hidden talents and strengths and may allow you to appreciate team members in a different light altogether.
Have a positive mindset
Optimism is essential to an organization. While teams may go through several hurdles and challenges, they need members who stay optimistic in order to remain hopeful and move forward.
To be an effective team member, optimism is an important skill you need to embrace. Optimism highly boosts the team morale and creates a happier environment for employees to work in. Happier employees achieve better results for the organization.
Be respectful of others
While working in a team, it is essential that members respect each other. Mutual respect for fellow team members allows work to be done in a smoother manner. It also created better camaraderie in the organization. Respect also creates trust and positivity among team members.
Avoid gossip and unwanted conversations
Gossip can easily come up in groups of individuals. However, gossip can always lead to conflicts and misunderstandings in the group. To effectively work in a team, it is important that you stay away from gossip and needless conversations at all costs.
Team members should also learn to resolve issues in a polite and respectful manner. Rather than gossiping, they can take it up with the team member involved privately and come to an agreement. Gossip always leads to segregation of members, breaking down the team and reducing productivity.
Give credit where it due
While it is nice to receive compliments for our achievements, team members should also give credit to others. Recognizing the accomplishments of others and acknowledging them not only improves the team morale, but also helps the team realize their assets. When you appreciate someone, you not only boost them up but also improve your own image as an effective team member.
Be motivated and motivate others
Team leaders highly appreciate motivated employees. When a team member is greatly motivated and happy to do a task, it automatically catches on with other employees as well. Motivated people not only push themselves to achieve more, but also encourage others. They also tend to look at the bigger picture and not focus on the small challenges and setbacks along the way.
Different types of teams
An organization can have several different types of teams, based on the project type or the specific goals that need to be achieved. The main types of teams we can find in organizations are:
In this type, the members are all from the same department or functionality. They work under a manager or leader towards a specific goal in their process. In this type of team, the members can have various roles and responsibilities, but all of them contribute to their own functionality.
The collaboration in this team is usually limited to intra-team members, with the team leader being the arm that connects to the rest of the organization. Functional teams tend to be long-term and are essential for ongoing business processes in the organization.
In this type, the individuals of the team come from various functionalities. Here, different skill sets and expertise are brought together to work towards achieving a specific shared goal. They also work under a mutual team leader. In this team, there is a lot of collaboration between the tea members.
Since the members may not know each other that well and since they come from different backgrounds, effective collaboration is required to the successful completion of the project.
These teams have individual members who have high levels of autonomy. The team functions as a self-reliant unit, showing accountability and high responsibility for their tasks. This team collaborates well with each other as well as with others externally for better productivity. This type of team usually comprises highly skilled and experienced individuals who do not require guidance and monitoring.
Virtual teams are becoming highly common since the pandemic. But they have been in place ever since organizations have started globalizing. In these teams, the members may be located at various time zones, but yet work together as a unit. These teams may use specific digital collaboration tools in order to communicate and interact efficiently.
Characteristics of a successful team
A successful team relies on the inter-dependence of the team members in order to achieve a shared goal. These teams can work closely together for long periods of time, with high productivity and lesser conflicts. A few characteristics that define a successful team are explained below:
All the members are clear about goals
When all the members are on the same page about the goals they need to achieve and their individual roles, the team becomes effective. In this understanding, the team members are also aware of the progress made and the struggles anyone is facing in the work process.
Communication between members should be regular and frequent for a team to be successful. It is not only about verbal and non-verbal communication. It should be effective in written communication as well. Great communication can also lead to more generation of ideas and suggestions.
Ownership of team goals
In successful teams, the members take great ownership of the shared goal. This makes them highly motivated to complete the project efficiently. This also leads to mutual trust and respect between the members, strongly bonding the team as one.
In this blogpost, we have explained how you can work effectively in a team. We have also explained the different types of teams and the various characteristics that define a successful team.
Frequently asked questions: (How do you effectively work in a team?)
What is the importance of teamwork?
Teamwork can be helpful in many ways for an organization. It becomes particularly useful in solving problems and coming up with new and creative ideas. Teamwork also motivates employees to work harder and more efficiently. It is essential in creating a positive and happy environment to work.
What makes a team work?
A team works successfully together when they have the following features:
When teams have a solid leader whom the members look up to and respect, they work effectively together. Team leaders need to have good communication skills, be highly knowledgeable and creative and also be trusting of their team members.
Good communication between members
Communication is essential for teamwork to be successful. The communication does not only cover work processes but also other factors like personal lives, opinions, feedback, etc. when open and honest communication is pursued in a team, there is higher accountability and transparency in the work process.
Use of right resources
Teams need to have access to the right resources in order to successfully accomplish their goals. The right resources include the right people, tools as well as information. Many times, teams who collaborate well together cannot be successful in work as they are not provided with the right resources. For teams to be provided with the right resources, the management has to take an active role in this matter.
How do you bring a team together?
Team members need to closely work together in order to be successful. A few ways to improve team cohesion are listed as follows:
- Participating in fun activities
- Creating a proper set of values
- Bring in great leaders
- Communicate properly and frequently
- Celebrate successes
- Acknowledge accomplishments
- Learn together
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