Successful Teamwork: Tips and Tricks
What makes collaboration a success? Find here easy and effective tips and tricks to try right now for successful teamwork.
Successful teamwork communicates often
The worst thing your team members could ever do is never speak to each other. When working on a collaborative effort, communication is more than one email of instructions. Communicating clear and detailed information goes beyond one lengthy briefing. Rather, a rule of thumb for effective collaborative projects is to consider communication as part of the project itself, as part of the process to achieve it. Interactions between team members should function as a way to monitor each other’s progress and tasks and check in on one another.
Most importantly, they should happen often. With everybody’s finger on the pulse constantly, it becomes much easier and more manageable to catch an error early on and adjust accordingly. Frequent interactions and exchanges of ideas, instructions, and updates allow for each member to get more acquainted and familiar with each other’s methods and approaches, individual strengths and styles, ways of expression and rationales.
Additionally, chatting to one another allows for developing shared knowledge and language, and helps prevent, reduce and eliminate unnecessary and avoidable misunderstandings, confusion, and frustration. We often live inside our own heads, hearing only our own voices, opinions and assumptions. Being exposed to the perspectives of our teammates brings different angles to a project we haven’t considered or might have missed.
In turn, speaking out about our viewpoint might shed light on things that seem obvious to us but not to others. Exchanging back and forth helps clarify some specific details and related issues, and increases our chances to make better decisions, find agreement, and spark creative solutions.
Successful teamwork is a supportive team
When the team gets knee-deep in a project, the thing we sometimes forget about the project is its initial goal. We get so absorbed in dealing with the obstacles of the specifics that we momentarily lose track of the overall end result to aim for. Things like disagreements or misunderstandings can easily grow out of proportion and become overwhelming to deal with.
It’s a good idea to breathe and take a step back. Keeping in mind that every team member shares a common goal or has a vested interest to see the project succeed will help us stay on track and realign our focus on priorities. When one teammate goes through difficult challenges alone, the whole project and team suffer.
Let’s remind ourselves that we’re all working toward the same goal. That we tend to trust collaborative efforts because they work. More brains on a problem are better than one. Capitalize on the collective potential and distribute tasks according to each other’s comfort zones, abilities, strengths and preferences, consult each other, keep ourselves in check and check in on each other. With our plates already full, we can still find a way to lend a hand to a teammate in trouble. We simply ask them how we can be of assistance.
Sometimes, talking it out loud to vent for a few minutes is all it takes for a colleague to feel better or find solutions on their own.
Successful teamwork welcomes feedback
Think of ways to capture the success of a group project before it even starts. Identify the specific indications of success specific to that project. What is the ultimate end result to wish for about this collaboration? Reach ten thousand likes on a Facebook ad campaign? Sign five contracts by the end of the year?
Has the event been covered by three major news media? Have all participants learned at least one thing by the end of a tutorial? Secure a return client? Knowing what to aim for will also let your team devise a strategic plan on how well the project is fulfilling those objectives along the way.
If the team project is about user experience, strategize and implement an easily accessible survey. However, if it involves call-to-actions, provide appealing incentives for a high participation rate. If it concerns internal issues, make sure to create a safe environment in which employees feel comfortable to discuss openly and give feedback with confidentiality. Many apps and services offer affordable and practical solutions to gather feedback. They also gather metrics, analytics, and other KPIs to keep track of the organization’s ongoing progress and achievements.
Successful teamwork gets a thumbs up from the team
A sense of pride will come with a job well done, and that feeling is shared within the team and the team manager. With individual contributions to completing a collective project, we create a sense of ownership and accountability within each team member and thus increase our chance of a successful accomplishment.
To cultivate a sense of ownership, it is crucial to make sure that everybody’s voice is heard. It is also good to have their respective roles and functions clearly defined with the least amount of ambiguous overlapping within the project.
Shirley is a Vacation Tracker occasional contributor. She’s held a few positions in communications, marketing and copywriting. When she’s not at her laptop, you can find her daydreaming about her laptop and chasing the sun while people watching.