Teamwork and Effective Communication

The Importance of Teamwork

As you continue through your education and venture into the workforce, you will likely encounter instances in which you have to work with another individual or a team. Teamwork is an important skill to have as it sets the precedent for successful projects and personal well being. For teams to be successful, each member must be valued/appreciated by their individual talents WHILE willing to work with others and communicate effectively.

In the majority of projects, individuals or smaller groups work on particular tasks that are suited to their skills or areas of expertise. The tricky part is to be able to combine all the individual components into the overarching project/product and make it cohesive. Open communication, timely feedback, and adequate allocation of tasks help ensure successful teamwork and quality work.

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Diversity of Ideas, Backgrounds, and Talents 

The key to successful teamwork is the right combination of individual talents with collective values in mind- teamwork, motivation, trust and accountability to name a few. A diverse set of individual talents is also necessary to ensure that team is flexible regardless of the task. A strong sense of support and desire to help one another succeed will also foster teaching among team members.

A diversity of thought process and backgrounds can help ensure that a challenge or task is viewed through different perspectives and propose solutions accordingly.

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According to the University of Waterloo’s Center for Teaching Excellence, it is critical for team members to identify the ideal environment that will facilitate collaboration and communication towards a task. Additionally, group dynamics can impact the manner and comfort level in which feedback is given and received.

Goals and Objectives

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Feedback and Open Communication

Image result for feedback is a gift As such, one should keep a few things in mind when giving/receiving it:

Genuine Рfeedback must be genuine and with and honest desire to help the other person

Invited – the person receiving it must be open and receptive to your feedback

Focus on specific behavior – focus on a particular behavior and not a person’s character or ability

Timely – feedback should be relevant and timely in order to identify the specific behavior AND situation

Constructive feedback should always be welcomed as it given with the intention of helping the person rather than mocking or belittling them. As the recipient of feedback, one must always remember that it took the other person time, effort, and (sometimes) courage to provide the feedback.

In terms of receiving feedback, one has to be mentally prepared for it and not be taken by surprise as denial and defensiveness can manifest and ruin the constructive aspect of the process (and potentially the interaction with the person giving the feedback).