How Teamwork Makes the Dream Work: 6 Tips

April 22, 2022 – Kiara Pérez & José Vázquez

According to Cambridge Dictionary, teamwork is defined as “the activity of working together in a group with other people, especially when this is successful.” We know this, we are familiar with what teamwork is. Moreover, we have taken part in collaborative efforts since we were young. We’ve all done at least one of the following: helping out with house chores, working on a group project, or being part of a sports team.
Of course, effective teamwork takes effort from all parts involved. But more importantly, how can we achieve success as a team? We’ve got you covered! Read on to find out how teamwork really makes the dream work!

1. Motivate each other

To begin with, motivation is considered the driving force behind a high level of productivity. One key way to help motivate teammates is to acknowledge the work and the progress made. Furthermore, just giving each other recognition is enough to spark the feeling of satisfaction and drive motivation. Sometimes motivating each other is as easy as saying “great job!” or “You can do it!”
However, motivation doesn’t have to only be targeted towards work. Attributes, for example, can be acknowledged. Some examples of this include: willingness to tackle hard tasks, ability to meet deadlines, sense of responsibility. In essence, it makes people feel motivated when their efforts and abilities are appreciated.
An awesome tool that makes it easy to motivate and celebrate your teammates is Assembly!

2. Avoid confusion

As different points of views are shared between members of a team, it can be difficult to see eye-to-eye sometimes. Nonetheless, this does not necessarily mean that there is conflict. Instead, it may be that there was a fault in the way a message was delivered. Alternatively, it could be the case that there are differences in language or culture. Thus, to avoid conflicts or misunderstandings, it is important that differences are first discussed and understood.

Look for signs of understanding

In addition, you should look for signs of understanding within your teammates. Head nodding, leaning in, smiles, giving full attention are all bodily signs that someone is paying attention and understanding  your message. Although it is an ability that takes time to master, it is very useful to understand how your team is feeling or reacting to a message.

Repeat as needed

There’s nothing wrong with reiterating a particularly tricky or important part of a conversation. As a matter of fact, it is very common for messages to not deliver effectively the first time around, so you should not beat yourself too much. In addition, when receiving a message, people tend to divert their attention from the message, or other times the message isn’t clear enough. At the end of the day, we all have different perspectives and ways to interpret messages, so one must be considerate and understanding when trying to convey a message.

Project and speak clearly

Equally important, you should use correct diction and wording to make the message as simple as possible. After all, when communicating (especially public speaking) you must always try to speak in a formal manner; a language all (or most) of your receivers can understand and/or relate to. Consequently, by employing this with your team, the communication process will be a lot more simple and effective.

Ask questions

In the same manner, asking things like “did you get that? Do you understand what we need to do?” are good ways to ensure the message is understood. Nevertheless, there are times in which we are left with doubts for not asking questions or assuming we understood the information completely. As a result of this, we can be freed from that fog of misunderstanding and doubt.

3. Coordinate tasks

Equally as important, having good coordination within your team is key to keeping a steady pace towards completing a task. Especially, if you have an interdisciplinary team with each team member having their own certain types of tasks or jobs, coordinating tasks may become more difficult compared to a standard team in which all team members work towards the same specific goal. 
Particularly, the process of discipline integration tends to be confusing, as well as disciplinary vocabulary barriers which both can affect the task coordination process, more so on communicating tasks to your team members and trying to collectively understand what they convey and consist of. For this reason, it is important that all team members can:

Assess or evaluate their tasks’s difficulty

To begin with, you would need to determine the length of time a task needs in order to be completed. From there, identify the skills and tools needed to complete the task. For example, a project could take weeks or months to complete, and may need many different tools. Additionally, a project could also need skills achievable through countless years of experience. But on the other hand, a task could also be something completed within a few hours, with no special tools or skills. For example, being the one in charge of setting up weekly meetings.

Disclose the task and it’s difficulty to team members

On the other hand, when disclosing your tasks it is important to let your teammates know what the brief description, timeframe, risks involved and the acceptance criteria are for the task at issue. In doing this, your teammates can understand what your tasks consist of, how much time it will take, the risks involved and what the final product or outcome will be. As a result, you will benefit from effective task-management processes

Arrange timeframes and deadlines for each task

Additionally, when arranging timeframes and deadlines you should take into consideration your teammates tasks and deadlines. Especially if you are directly or indirectly involved with those tasks.
Trello is an excellent tool to coordinate and manage tasks! This platform allows you to organize lists and color code them to your liking. This is very helpful when it comes to prioritizing. Additionally, there are many more apps and tools that can help you be productive in a team environment.

4. Stay connected

On another point, staying connected and informed is a very important part of effective teamwork. In fact, meetings should be conducted every certain amount of time, depending on the needs of each team. Furthermore, these meetings should be used for discussing important updates, deadlines, tasks completed, concerns and any other relevant information. Then again, they can also be used for clearing up doubts or expanding on a topic that might be difficult to understand through reading.
Some channels you can use for communication are: Google Meet, WhatsApp, Slack, email and many more!

5. Celebrate Success

Achieving goals is probably the most satisfying phase of a project’s life cycle. However, we sometimes take this for granted. More specifically, we tend to overlook or undervalue our own achievements. Especially in teams, you should celebrate with your teammates, something that we often miss doing when we’re working individually.
So, why is celebrating so important in a team environment? In general, celebrating your team’s success has many benefits: from keeping your team’s morale up, to motivating your team, to keeping a success mindset and many more.
Granted, there are many ways to celebrate success: team-bonding activities, trophies/medals/prizes, or even as simple as congratulating the team member.

6. Foster Leadership

Not everyone is born a leader, but that does not mean that you can’t become one. Sometimes all it takes is a little encouragement for people to take on leadership qualities. In addition, fostering leadership has many benefits not only for the person taking the leadership position, but for the whole team, and potentially the rest of the society in developing better citizens overall. Some benefits include: increased productivity, better project management, better communication, improved skills and more!
Finally, do you think we missed any tips on why teamwork makes the dream work? Do you find this information helpful? Let us know with a comment!

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