The idea of working in a team can be exciting, but teamwork is not an instinct. It takes time, patience, desire, and skills to work with others to create something greater than one person can do alone. However, many factors lead people to struggle with teamwork at work. You find yourself working with other people who have different personalities and opinions that can lead to all sorts of things from conflict, missing deadlines, bad work quality, to low morale.
There must be a balance of skill sets and talents in the group to make everyone contribute their best efforts.
What Skills do you Need to Work Successfully in a Team?
You need teamwork skills which is a set of other skills that will allow you to coordinate and work with others without getting frustrated or angry. The list below contains many valuable skills to work in a team environment or to drive teamwork, but this is by no means exhaustive.
Here are the top 11 skills to work in a team:
Communication is the act of conveying information through a shared language. It is one of the most important skills in any work environment, and it is especially crucial when you work with others in a team.
Successful teamwork is impossible to achieve without good communication. Team members must be able to communicate respectfully and openly and listen to others’ ideas.
Communication is two ways — so you need to listen just as much, if not more than you speak. In addition, you must communicate clearly, as this will help all team members stay on the same page. Be respectful and open when communicating with teammates.
You must also understand that not everyone will share your same opinion or values but, you can still work effectively.
2. Active Listening
Active Listening means eagerly paying attention to understand what is being said and show empathy for the speaker. In other words, it is not just about being quiet while someone speaks but trying to get a sense of what they are saying.
Active listeners often use encouraging phrases like “I see where you are coming from” or “That sounds tough.” They also make frequent eye contact and nod their head in agreement when appropriate. The purpose of doing so is to make the speaker feel understood.
Someone who listens actively does not interrupt or jump in while others are talking. They let others communicate their thoughts without feeling dismissed or unheard and improve relationships within the team.
When teammates understand one another more effectively, it means there is less conflict within the group.
Collaboration is about working together with others to achieve a goal. In working in a team environment, collaboration means working together to build and maintain relationships by getting along well.
Collaboration is an essential skill to work in a team environment. The ability to work together effectively can increase the chances for the team to accomplish its goals.
It also allows teammates to understand one another better, which improves relationships within the teammates.
When people of different backgrounds, skills, and mindsets collaborate, they usually come up with creative ideas and solutions that exceed the sum of individual efforts.
In other words, collaboration can uncover more possibilities than any lone person can.
Cooperation means there is give and take within the team. It is a prerequisite for teamwork.
As a team member, you must be willing to help other teammates and share information, expertise, or resources with them when needed.
You need to be open-minded about changing course if someone else has different perspectives or insights into problems the team wants to solve.
Cooperation requires more than just good intentions. It requires a lot of time and effort to progress or agree on something.
5. Organizational skills
The organizational skill is your ability to plan and carry out tasks, work efficiently or make decisions about the best way to use resources.
Organizational skills are a major requirement for the success of a team. Organizing tasks and projects can be overwhelming to the extent of preventing team members from getting anything done.
Most good team members can break down larger tasks into more manageable chunks of smaller assignments. They often assign roles or responsibilities within the team and create a timeline to complete the tasks.
6. Flexibility Skills
Flexibility means being open and willing to change or to see how things will change as the work progresses.
Being a flexible team member means you are always eager to change your ways of working when needed and follow instructions given by others as they may be required.
It allows you to keep an open mind and a positive attitude about things in the workplace. Things don’t always go as planned by the team, so you need to keep an open mind because it helps you adapt to new changes.
7. Problem-solving Skills
Some people have natural problem-solving skills, while others may need more time to think through their decision before they act.
Those with good problem-solving skills know what questions to ask to get the desired answer for any given situation.
People who are good at solving problems are logical thinkers who can break a big problem apart into smaller pieces. And this allows them to see the problem from all angles.
As a team member, you should know how to gather information about situations and come up with an appropriate response or solution.
8. Conflict Resolution Skills
When you work with other people, there is a strong probability that conflict will happen. You must know how to deal with it wisely in a healthy manner that leaves everyone feeling satisfied with the outcome.
For example, when two people disagree on something, you may need to help them resolve the problem. It means showing them how conflict is impacting the team, helping to problem solve, and offering a better way for them to be satisfied with the outcome.
Having conflict resolution skills means you can see things from both sides without being biased or taking one side over another.
You have to keep calm when dealing with conflict. Because that can help you to have a better understanding of the situation, and it may result in more favorable outcomes.
9. Time Management Skills
Time management is the ability to manage your own time and that of others. This skill allows you to work on and complete tasks in a way that is timely and efficient.
Time management skills are essential to meet tight deadlines especially when you have many competing deadlines. If you cannot manage your time, then it will be easy to work effectively with others.
10. Accountability Skills
In a team, accountability means you are dependable. It means that you take your job seriously and everything possible to get it done and avoid letting the team down.
Being accountable in a team setting is critical because it is a way to show that you are reliable, responsible, and dependable so teammates can trust and depend on you.
In many cases, people who work in teams cannot do their job on their own. They need the support of others to get things done.
11. Leadership Skills
Leadership is about influencing others to act and get the job done. Being a team member, you can still lead others without authority.
You may not have the power or position to tell your colleagues where to go or what to do, but you can still persuade them to do something.
You can be a leader without formal authority simply by taking responsibility for your actions and those of others around you.
So, whether it is asking someone how they are doing or making sure no one leaves until the work is done, everyone in the team has some power to influence every day.
Sometimes it is easy to forget that working in a team is just another way of working alone. You are still the one who can do your job, but you have the resources and people around you that can help you to do your job.
It might seem like more work at first because you need to learn to work with others, but once you find out where the common ground is, the level of performance skyrocket.
Working with others has benefits as there are more opportunities for creativity and innovation from team members. Also, being part of a team means you have other people to lean on when things get tough.
However, this does not mean that there are always no issues with teamwork as sometimes disagreements can lead to arguments or even conflict between teammates.
What’s your experience been like working in a team? Share it with us below