Livingin an ever growing and ever competitive world, good employment opportunitiesare getting harder and harder to come by. Naturally, as such, the competencylevel expected from employment seekers is continuously becoming more and more demanding.The market is getting more and more competitive.
If employment seekers wish toland their hands on professional jobs that will employ them permanently, oneskill set is a must- the skill of teamwork.Whenit comes to working in a team, not everyone’s cut out for it. But the realityis, employers will want good team players for their companies. After all, whowould want an employee who can’t get along with others or has the tendency tospoil moods? Most employers would of course opt for employees who can light upthe office space, win over hearts and get their work done with the team spiritin hand!What DoEmployers Mean by Teamwork?So what exactly do employers meanwhen they say “teamwork”? Teamwork isn’t required only in one particularsector, but pretty much in all sectors across the board; ranging from businessservices, medical, education sectors, information technology, engineering toeven food or catering services. In a nutshell, employers entail by teamwork theability of an individual to work amicably with fellow employees in all kinds ofsituations and with an understanding that not everyone has to be your friend inorder for you to work with them. Teamwork in essence requires not only peopleskills but also a sense of maturity, which allows the individual to think abovepetty misunderstandings that are bound to rise in everyday dealings with fellowemployees or employers. Why Are Teamwork Skills So Highly Valued?Teamwork skills are a huge assetto any company, small or big. The reason why teamwork skills are so highlyvalued is because not only does teamwork skills lead to harmony within thecompany or office setting, this set of skills also leads to winning over morecustomers and having a better employee-client relationship.
A company orbusiness venture’s name is highly associated with how competent the team’sworkers are. Even if the employees are highly educated and have a hugeexperience tail, if their attitude and personality is a turn-off for thosearound them, it’s highly unlikely they will be able to hold onto clientele ormove up the ladder at work. This isn’t to say that without teamwork skills anemployee cannot make their way up the ladder at work, but the ability to excelin teamwork skills sure gives one an upper hand. Types of Team SkillsTeam skills involves a whole set of skills and can’t reallybe put under one heading. The following lists five different areas of skillsthat are essential in developing and perfecting one’s team skills. As withevery other skill, team skills are bound to get better with experience, timeand effort. As the saying goes, “nothing comes free in life”, so too is effortrequired in acquiring team skills.Communication Skills:Communication skills is perhaps the key skill that as an employee you will needto develop in order to tone your teamwork skills.
Team players need to be ableto communicate not only orally but using body language as well. They need to beable to communicate on both emotional and intellectual levels. Those who areeffective in communication, are able to explain ideas that they come up with listen to others carefully and not always with an intent to reply but with an intent to understand the other person make efforts to express what their feelings are without sounding threatening try to sense or understand how others feel, whether based on what they are saying or by their body language try to ask questions whenever they want clarifications or are uncertain about something try to reflect on a daily basis over the events and interactions that took place and how things could have gone better (they try to learn from bad experiences) try to be a positive team player and avoid brewing tension between others, if tension is brewing between others, they try to break the tension rather than build on itSupport Skills:Support skills are essential in any team. Team members can show support for oneanother in various ways. Whether it be in being there for the other employeeduring their moments of achievement or being there during trying times, supportis needed at all times. It helps to look at one another as collaborators ratherthan only competitors (it’s healthy to compete as long as the individualsaren’t willing to harm the other in order to get ahead).
A huge part of supportis the ability to respect one another. Problem SolvingSkills: Problem-solving skills is a set of skills that isn’t everyone’s cupof tea. However, it is necessary in order to deal with the challenges thatpopup on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis. Certain problem-solving skillsentail a certain level of wisdom and experience whereas other problem-solvingskills, such as ones that are based on the newest trends or happenings entailyoung, innovative minds. This category gives room for all ages to show theirexpertise and build themselves a name with the boss.Listening and FeedbackSkills: Listening and feedback skills is something that may fall CommunicationSkills, but due to its importance, deserves a separate category altogether.
Ifas an employee you only listen without understanding, your responses will alsobe lacking. In order to ensure proper feedback is given in the differentsituations you are exposed to with fellow employees, it’s important to listenattentively. If you aren’t sure what to say in particular situations, you canalways ask a fellow team player to speak to the person in concern. Feedback canalso come in the form of an email or text; some things are better said inwritten form rather than orally. With time and exposure to different scenarios,one picks up on which feedback mechanism would probably work best. Conflict ManagementSkills: Conflict Management skills are huge on the list because conflictsare bound to take place. When you work in a certain space with individuals,there will be things that you will not agree on or just not see eye-to-eyeover. How you deal with conflicts can potentially save your job or your gradein a course.
Anger management skills may have a great impact here. Remember notto let your anger or frustration get the best of you. Try to get third partinvolvement to resolve issues that may pop up between you and a fellow teamplayer(s). Example Teamwork Competency QuestionsDuring job interviews, employers may ask teamwork competencyquestions. The questions will of course vary based on which company or team youare applying to work for. The field of expertise will also influence the typeof competency questions you might be asked. The following are a few general questionsthat may come up.
What is your definition of a good team player? Do you consider yourself a good team player? Why or why not? How can you become a better team player? Give us an example of a situation where you would term yourself a good team player? A team member is annoying you on a daily basis and this is hampering your performance at work. As a good team player, how would you go about handling this situation? In a group of 10 team players, all from different backgrounds, how would you get them to work together constructively? Mention three things you would make sure to get done in order to ensure proper teamwork takes place. If you witness others having conflict within your team, how would you go about dealing with it? What are some of your hobbies or extra curricular activities you take part in?Tips and Examples for Answering TeamworkQuestionsWhen it comes to answering teamwork questions, try to keepit real. Don’t lie and don’t necessarily tell them you are a people hater anddon’t wish to have anything to do with fellow teammates! You want to strike abalance. For example, the question that asks you for the definitionof a good team player, you may want to include a few of the points mentionedabove under “types of team skills”. As for the question on whether or not youare a good team player, there are numerous ways to answer without sounding toodesperate or too uninterested. You may wish to answer, “Yes, I consider myselfa good team player because I have good communication skills.
I express myselfwhen necessary and try to understand those around me while keeping in mind tolearn from mistakes. I try to work with those around me in an amicable way.”As for how you can become a better team player, you neverwant to say you are already a great team player and have no room forimprovement! Remember, there is always room for improvement. A good answer forthis section might be, “I could improve myself as a team player by improving byproblem solving skills. As I tend to get anxiety in overwhelming situations, Ihope to better by problem solving skills by being exposed to challenges and newencounters with fellow teammates.” Examples where you can be a good team player can vary fromcongratulating a fellow team member in being promoted, to filling in for anotherteam member, to trying to reconcile between fellow team members when sensingsome kind of tension brewing up. A good team player is also looking out for theteam and trying to make decisions that are best for the team as a whole.
In order to deal with an annoying team member, you may wantto write them a nice letter/email or text, or get another team member to speakto them. Complaining to HR should probably be on the list for major issues thatmay arise. Asking for a seat change if the person sits near you is also anoption. Dealing with matters sensibly rather than emotionally could be keyhere. As for the question on how to get 10 team players to worktogether constructively, it is important to hold meetings on a regular basis,delegate work and follow up on the tasks delegated. It would be a good idea toget the 10 individuals introduced to one another during the first meeting, pairthem up according to their expertise and background, setting goals and followingup on these goals in subsequent meetings.
The question regarding hobbies and extra curricularactivities gives your employer an insight into not only your interests but yourability to work with others. This is because sports require huge team effort,patience and vigilance. In line with this, it is probably a good idea to joindifferent sports teams or pick up on hobbies that show your skills in thedifferent categories that fall under teamwork skills.
Mistakes to AvoidWhen it comes to mistakes to avoid in trying to improve yourteamwork skills, there are probably many. Some key mistakes to avoid whilebuilding your teamwork skills: Don’t ever think you know it all Don’t underestimate yourself but at the same token, don’t overestimate yourself. Try to give credit where its due Take each day as it comes, learning from the things that go wrong and appreciating the good days (as rare as they may seem at times) Don’t ever stop reading books on how to improve teamwork skills, attending workshops, seminars, etc.Final ThoughtsA lot of people tend to think that teamwork skills are onlyexcelled in by extroverts.
While it may be true that extroverts can easily mixwith different people and are more keen on verbally expressing themselves, inno way does this invalidate introverts and their ability to be amazing teamplayers. An introvert’s ability to listen, to contribute, to share and to builda team is huge and an essential part of a team’s overall development andability to thrive. In many waysextroverts and introverts complement one another and a mix of each type ishealthy and even needed for a company or classroom setting.
Teamwork skills can be mastered by all kinds of people, fromall kinds of backgrounds, albeit some take longer than others. Teamwork skillsare lifelong skills that need to be fine-tuned, improved and developed overtime. Trying to master teamwork skills overnight isquite impossible but to set targets to master teamwork over time is quitepossible.