You really can’t succeed in work or life without this one skill set


In today’s world, there’s no getting around it — going solo doesn’t work.

Organizations and various sectors of the workforce have experienced significant changes in recent years, which has fostered a more collaborative and cooperative way of working.

The complexity of organizations now requires working towards shared objectives, based on assigned roles or predetermined tasks. Innovation and globalization have created circumstances that require a variety of abilities, constant swift responses, and immediate adaptability to rapidly changing situations.

All of this can only be accomplished through one major thing: teamwork.

Teamwork today is considered a key point and competitive advantage, and is becoming more and more common in companies and businesses. The ability to work in teams makes it possible to increase productivity, innovation, and workplace satisfaction.

While a few studies have defined “teamwork competence” as a set of skills, even the best existing models aren’t in agreement about what it actually means. But essentially, teamwork competence involves both a personal disposition and the ability to collaborate with others; it’s a set of skills and attitudes that help you achieve common goals with others, share information, distribute tasks, take responsibility, solve problems and contribute to improvement.

A great team:

Knows its identity — How committed the individuals and the entire group feel about their mission.

Communicates effectively —  How well the group shares info, coordinates tasks, and achieves their goals, how well it performs.

Puts its strategies into action — With objectives, goals, and mission in mind.

Knows how to regulate itself — Self-assessment by the whole team,  changing and adapting as needed to continue to improve and grow.

But what’s the most important part of teamwork?

The most important characteristic for indispensable for teamwork is for team communication to be effective. That means each team member must be good at both listening and dialogue. In order to know we’re truly listening and our conversations are fruitful, we need to:

  • Verify: “Let me repeat what you just said to be sure I understood.”
  • Clarify: “I think what you are saying is…”
  • Show support: “I hear you, please continue.”
  • Structure: “I suggest we look at the symptoms, try to define the problem, and then discuss possible solutions.”

When it comes to listening and dialogue, John Baldoni, in his articleNever Let Your Ego Stop You From Learning,” recommends that we never let our ego get in the way of our desire to learn more. Successful leaders and team members keep their minds open to new things because they know that, regardless how great their level of expertise may be, there is always something more to learn.

When we face challenges — including those we may have faced many times — it’s important for us to adopt the perspective of a beginner. This will lead us always to seek new ways of solving problems. The value of teamwork is in knowing how to find new points of view when it seems like we’ve exhausted all the alternatives in the face of a new challenge.