The buzzword in today’s corporate world is “collaboration”, and not “competition”. With super specialized jobs coming to the fore, networking with different professionals has become vital to survive in the corporate world today! Along with good technical knowledge, one also needs to possess the ability to work well as part of a team. Research has shown that teams are more successful than individuals in the following ways:
- In implementing complex plans.
- In coming up with innovative or creative solutions to problems.
- In getting breakthroughs in difficult and challenging obstacles.
What exactly is expected of you when you are working in a team? By working as part of a team, you contribute to the overall success of the organization. You work in conjunction with other coworkers to bring about this success. You have a specific and pre-designated role to perform; but at the same time, you are unified with the other members to achieve the overall targets or objectives. As a team, your chances of achieving your organization’s goals are much higher.
Yet ……. Many a time, we have seen that teams have failed miserably! Why does this happen? What are the qualities that are essential for a team to perform optimally? To begin with, an effective team should have clearly defined objectives and goals. A good team should also have unity and cohesiveness between team members. There should be a sense of being on the same side, and not a tendency toward one-upmanship!
A well functioning team also needs a good leader to lead and direct the activities of the team members, to resolve conflicts as and when they arise, to monitor the team’s progress and to see that the team is always on the right track and does not digress from its goals.
Are You A Good Team Member?
Answer the following questions to know more about your functioning in a team:
- I prefer to work on my own. If you don’t have the ability or the willingness to collaborate with others, you are likely to be unhappy and dissatisfied in a team.
- I like to have my work goals set by someone else. Teams are typically self-directed. If you’re more of a follower, you may feel more responsibility than you want.
- I think other people work as hard as I do. Respect for the contributions of others is a foundation of good teamwork. If you think you’re the only one doing the hard work, you are likely to be frustrated!
- I like taking suggestions from others. Collaborating with others and teaching each other is the whole point behind teamwork.
- At the end of the day, everyone is out for him/herself. On a team, success or failure will be determined by the team’s achievements, not your own.
- I like to work with people who aren’t like me. The best teams are those that combine people with complementary, but differing, skill sets and work techniques.
- I am more competitive than cooperative. Some amount of healthy competition within team members is good. But if you are always competitive, it can undermine the team’s efforts.
- I am always right. No one is! If you are one of those people who believe that they are always right, you will be resented by other team members!
- I find it easy to trust other people. The most highly skilled individuals will be unable to accomplish anything as a team if they are unable to trust others and always suspecting the motives of other people.
Reflecting on these questions will give you some insight into your strengths and weaknesses as a team member. Remember, to be successful in today’s competitive world, it is necessary to recognize situations where you need to network and collaborate with others!