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Teamwork is a necessary function of all businesses. Teams bring together a variety of people with their own unique talents and flaws. How can you effectively bring together a diverse group of people with different work and life experiences to work towards a common goal? While there are many different tactics that a company can implement not all methods work as effectively as others.

A number of companies hope that cloud-based technologies, content sharing platforms, and office functions will enable staff members to efficiently work as a team. The truth of it is if you don’t have some basic principles in place that could be a more difficult task than you might think.

In no particular order, the experts at Fremont College have gathered a few tips for better teamwork:

1. Communicate

In any relationship, communication is key. This is especially true in a team. Team members should clearly express their own thoughts and offer potential solutions to problems. Other team members should ask questions to better understand differing ideas or positions.

2. Understand Goals

It is crucial that all team members understand group goals and are committed to achieving them. One way to accomplish this is to agree upon a mission and purpose. This clarity will be reinforced with clear expectations for the team’s goals, accountability, work, and outcomes.

3. Agree on Processes

The effective team must agree upon procedures for diagnosing, analyzing, improving, and resolving teamwork problems and conflicts. It is crucial that team members do not “pick sides” in disagreement, but instead work collaboratively towards the mutual resolution of any issues that arise.

4. Take Risks

A team can provide a safe environment where individual team members are comfortable taking reasonable risks. Team members should not be punished for disagreeing. Instead, discuss differing opinions or ideas as a group.

5. Remember the Individual

While teams work as a united group to achieve a common goal, each member brings his or her own talents and strengths. This should not be forgotten. Effective teams enhance and reinforce this idea. Weight is given to irreplaceable experiences and unique points of view or knowledge. It is important to remember that the purpose of forming a team is to take advantage of the differences between the individual team members.

6. Look Inside

Effective teams constantly examine themselves and continuously improve teamwork processes and practices. This type of team openly discusses problems and potential solutions.

7. Have More than One Leader

Collaborative teams enjoy participative leadership. This type of leadership avoids one main leader. Instead, all members participate in a variety of leadership roles, depending on their individual strengths. Whether it be leading meetings, assessing progress, holding members accountable, or providing direction in specific areas, the job of “team leader” should be spread among the members.

8. Make Decisions Together

Members of the effective team will make important decisions together and with the support of the group.

If group members can follow these insightful tips, they can greatly improve teamwork become highly efficient. 

Written By
Chris Foerster is the Digital Marketing Manager at Fremont College.

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