Working in a Team and Managing Your Productivity
Teamwork is a necessary skill. From group projects in elementary school to large-scale operations in the workforce, it is extremely likely that you are going to find yourself in team situations various times throughout your education and career.
That doesn’t mean it’s easy to work in a team. Sometimes it may seem easier to work on your own. If you have ever had uncooperative group members, you know exactly what that refers to. Instead of having to deal with people who start conflict or don’t pull their weight, it can actually be easier to take on all the work yourself. The problem is that in reality, this won’t always hold up; especially in a professional situation, you certainly don’t want to come across as uncooperative yourself.
The true benefit of teamwork is the fact that when it does work, the end product can turn out much better than it would have had you worked alone. It makes sense: a group consists of individual workers, each with their own talents, capabilities, and creative ideas to share. It is a relief to know that you don’t have to be responsible for absolutely everything, but instead can focus on what you do best. If your group members are compatible—or if they learn how to work around one another’s faults—you can help each other achieve excellent results.
It is not enough for individual team members to be strong, if the group itself leaves something to be desired. Effective teamwork is therefore a valuable skill that must be cultivated. It is important to learn how to cooperate in pursuit of a shared goal. If you learn to work together, you will pull through together, and you can consequently reap the rewards.
Here are three tips for making teamwork work for you:
Know your strengths—and those of others. Before you start working together, do a makeshift skills assessment to see what certain group members do best. You can keep this in mind when splitting up the work.
Communicate. Know where you’re at during every step of the process. This is even easier if you make use of technological tools—online document sharing services like Google Docs, as well as social media groups and messaging, can be lifesavers.
Be fair but firm. If someone isn’t pulling their weight, hear them out before you cut them out. There might be extenuating circumstances, and they might still wish to contribute in another capacity. However, don’t let anyone get away with coasting and taking credit for the hard work of the rest of the group.