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What is teamwork?

Teamwork can be defined as collaborating as a group to complete a task. A successful team is often effective and efficient and completes a task far quicker than a group working individually. Teamwork can be about making sure every member of your working team feels valued, understands their roles and contributes effectively to the team goal. It's also about getting a job done quicker by dividing projects into bite-sized chunks.

Examples of good teamwork skills

Teamwork can be anything from the following:

  • Delegating tasks to the right people with the right skills

  • Making sure everyone understands their role and responsibilities

  • Giving constructive feedback and support

  • Creating enthusiasm and initiative within a team

  • Collaborating to improve an outcome or develop ideas

Why is teamwork important in the workplace?

An individual is only as good as the team around them, goes the saying. Being able to work effectively as part of team and fit into a team ethic is a vital skill for most employers.

A good team will listen to each other and take on board each other's opinions, before coming up with the best and most time-effective solution for the group. Most important, a good team will learn from any disagreements and problems and grow from the experience.

Effective teamwork in the workplace is used to ensure that big projects get done on time and effectively. A good team will work in a supportive, informal atmosphere where each member feels encouraged and able to say what they think without risk. An effective team will often build morale and relationships between employees that improve productivity and creativity.

Teamwork skills are closely related to communication skills, allowing you to forget about your own personal desires for the good of the company when it comes to negotiating, advising and interpreting issues in the workplace.

How can you demonstrate teamwork skills?

There are many examples of good teamwork that you should be able to use, such as working on a group project at university, participating as part of a successful sports team or explaining how you resolved a disagreement as part of a group of friends.

If you are asked to participate in a group discussion as part of an interview, remember that good teamwork isn't about shouting the loudest or speaking the most. Most successful teams have members with different roles and skills.

How to be a good team player

Teamwork skills will often be assessed in most graduate assessment days and interviews. To come out with top marks, look to demonstrate all of the following:

  • Listen and make sure everyone gets a chance to contribute

  • Be respectful

  • Be clear about your ideas and communicate these effectively

  • Avoid conflict and arguing

  • Be reliable and trustworthy

How to develop teamwork skills and get more experience

If you are new to teamwork situations, it can be useful to gain experience of team situations before heading to an assessment centre or interview. You could try gaining more teamwork experience by:

  • Joining university teams or groups

  • Facilitating group discussions within study groups

  • Ask friends to collaborate on a project

  • Observe other teams and identify strong team players to learn from

  • Ask for feedback from team members

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