7 essential skills to level-up your teamwork game

7 essential skills to level-up your teamwork game

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1. Communication

A large portion of team or project failures (just take the untimely explosion of NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter, as one example) arise from miscommunication. For teams to work well together, they need to be on the same page. Team members need to be able to openly share information, align their expectations, and offer feedback. However, 

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1. Communication

communication isn’t only about sharing messages — listening plays an equally important role. Active listening, in particular, enhances shared understanding and helps teams avoid crossed wires.

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2. Collaboration

Collaboration and teamwork are synonyms, so it makes sense that you’d see this skill high on the list. Even so, simply putting people on the same team doesn’t inherently lead to effective collaboration. Instead, clarity needs to take priority. Team members should understand their unique roles, responsibilities, and deadlines, as well as how their individual 

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2. Collaboration

pieces impact the whole. That broader focus increases accountability and empowers people to find answers or proactively solve problems themselves.

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3. Goal setting

Teamwork is all about working your way toward a finish line together. But first? You need to be in agreement about what that finish line actually is.  While managers might like to think that goals are already obvious and widely accepted, team members may disagree. Proof: 72% of employees admit they don’t fully understand their company’s strategy.

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3. Goal setting

In order to reap the benefits of effective teamwork, leaders need to not only explain team and company goals, but also actively involve employees in the process of setting those objectives so that they can take ownership over the outcomes.

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4. Decision making

There are very few times when teamwork is more frustrating than when you need to make a speedy decision. With so many perspectives to manage, reaching a consensus can be slow.  That’s why decision-making skills are so important in a team environment, especially in collaborative cultures where the manager isn’t always the one 

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4. Decision making

with the last word. To get their best work done, team members should be able to listen to other opinions and suggestions with an open mind but then come together collectively to choose the best way forward.

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5. Problem solving

From a project that’s running off the rails to a conflict between a couple of colleagues, you and your team are bound to run into your fair share of roadblocks. In those moments, your team’s problem-solving skills are what will carry you through. Successful problem solving isn’t just about slapping on a band-aid or identifying a quick 

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5. Problem solving

fix. Some stumbling blocks can be deceptively complex. To truly address and prevent issues, team members need to start by digging deep and understanding all of the factors that are at play.

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6. Emotional intelligence 

Emotional intelligence is the ability to read the emotional state of yourself and others, then act accordingly. Your team members can’t always check their feelings at the door (and you can’t either). Emotions come into play in our work lives — they bias our perception and influence how we relate to one another. And, research shows that team 

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6. Emotional intelligence 

emotional intelligence has a significant impact on effectiveness, as well as how much conflict the group experiences.

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7. Growth mindset

Teams don’t always deal with smooth seas, and a growth mindset is what helps them power through obstacles and find creative solutions. To state it simply, a growth mindset sees problems as opportunities. They’re chances to reflect, learn, and improve. A growth mindset helps your team use past experiences to drive better collaborations — 

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7. Growth mindset

and it also means they won’t bristle at perceived failures or criticisms.

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