The Power of Synergy: How to Improve Your Teamwork Skills | Samriddhi School

July 16, 2019

The Power of Synergy: How To Improve Your Teamwork Skills

“Teamwork makes the dream work.”

You’ve probably heard this a million times – and seen it in practice for another million times or so. In this day and age, being a ‘jack of all trades’ won’t get you anywhere unless you can work in a team. Today, companies seek employees that are team players. Realizing this, schools and colleges are now incorporating exercises that help build teamwork skills in their students.

To see teamwork skills in action, let’s consider an example of the Avengers. If you take them for their individual worth – Captain America, Ironman, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye – they’re a force to be reckoned with. However, when they’re faced with an overpowering foe like Thanos, they have to work as an absolute unit to effectively defeat the supervillain.

You see, teamwork skills help you build rapport with your team members, so that you can simultaneously work on your strengths, and grow as a professional. As a whole, teamwork skills promotes synergy – you work better together, and bring out the best in each other. You don’t have to take our word for it – in fact, there are many practical instances that show how important teamwork skills are.

Take Starbucks as an example. In the U.S., it has become a staple name, a synonym for coffee. Yet you’d be surprised to learn that the CEO believes that Starbucks’ success doesn’t stem from its coffee, but from its employees and their teamwork.

How can you build your teamwork skills?

Trust and respect

You can’t simply expect to work in a team if you don’t trust and respect each other. Let’s go back to the Avengers again. Remember the movie, ‘Captain America: Civil War’, where the Avengers had an internal fallout? This happened because they didn’t trust each other’s decisions.

Let’s face it: When you’re working in a team, you’ll have to work with people you’re not particularly fond of. This is when your teamwork skills are put to test – you should be able to put your animosity aside and work together. You see, if you want to improve your teamwork skills, the team members should have mutual trust and respect. Along this line, you should trust your team members to do their part, and trust your leader to guide you.

Open communication

Here’s a general question: Why do people work in teams? Here’s a generic answer to this: To share ideas and opinions. A simple notion, yet, you won’t be able to accomplish this sharing of ideas unless you have an open communication system.

A major setback in this aspect is the thought of your ideas being rejected. Building teamwork skills means speaking your mind, accepting the criticism that follows, and learning from it. It works both ways for teamwork skills – remember to give constructive criticism, and help your teammates grow. When you don’t communicate clearly, the unspoken assumptions and lingering resentment can be quite destructive to your team’s productivity.

Social skills

Working in a team sounds swell, until you realize that you have to socialize with strangers. Enter: social skills. It doesn’t matter if you’re reluctantly stuck or willingly part of a team, because in the end, you’ll have to put yourself out there and talk to people.

Before you start developing your teamwork skills, begin by working on your social skills. Set some time aside to socialize with your teammates. Start with a simple greeting, followed by small talk, active listening, and gestures. For your teamwork skills, you can also separate some time to know your team members on a personal level.

Listen

Building teamwork skills isn’t just about giving out your own ideas, it’s also about listening to what your teammates have to share. Have you ever been in a group discussion where you’re waiting for your turn to speak, without actually paying attention to the speaker? Your inattentiveness may potentially spark a conflict within the team. To avoid this, make sure that you actively listen, contemplate, and see if their opinion complements yours.

Listening also makes room for lively discussions and debates, which includes input from everyone. If you want to work on your teamwork skills, remember to ask questions.

Participate

Teamwork skills will be futile unless you actually participate in team activities. This includes providing input and feedback during idea generation, discussions, tasks and most importantly, decision making. Essentially, you should be able to collaborate with your teammates.

It’s a given that when you’re working in a team, you’re expected to contribute your share of the work. Sure, your idea may be something crazy or out there, but you won’t know unless you propose it to your teammates and get their feedback. So, to build your teamwork skills, make sure that you’re involved in every aspect of the team’s actions.

Conflict management

Of course, when you’re working with different people, there’s bound to be conflict. However, this doesn’t mean that you pick a fight every time you have a disagreement with someone. Improving your teamwork skills means being able to resolve conflict as it arises. You should be able to put your individual differences aside and find a common ground – which, in this case, is the goal shared by your team.

To gain a better understanding, ask yourself: Can you reconcile with the person you’re arguing with? Can you take responsibility for your actions? Can you talk your teammates out of their conflict? You see, your proficiency in teamwork skills depends on your maturity in handling tense situations.

 

Wrapping Up

Today, teamwork provides a platform for learning new things, and yields better results. If you really want to grow as a person and accomplish greater things, drop your ‘lone wolf’ attitude, and start working on your teamwork skills. After all, teamwork makes the dream work.

One of our core values at Samriddhi School is nurturing teamwork – within our management team and faculty, and our curriculum. We strongly reflect our values towards our students, and engage them in extracurricular activities that strengthen their teamwork skills.

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