All jobs come with their fair share of teamwork. Whether you’re working in an office, in customer service, or in skilled labour, you’ll need to work with others to successfully reach the same goal. However, everyone has different communication styles and ways of working.
Whilst some may only need a short conversation to get started on a task or project, others might prefer jotting down instructions. Figuring out how you and your team work as a collective and individually, will help you navigate any work situation.
We know people love Mondays when they get on with people at work. So, how do you become a good team player? Here are our top tips on how to communicate effectively.
Avoid a one-size-fits-all method of communication
Communication is key to good teamwork. To make sure everyone’s on the same page and no actions are missed, set guidelines on how you’ll communicate as a group. Is it e-mail? Text? Face-to-face?
Then it’s about how you speak to others. Some people will be receptive to direct feedback, whilst others may require a softer communication style, so make sure you get to know the individuals on your team and cater to their communication style to get the best out of them.
Problem-solving and conflict resolution
In any team, problems and conflicts might appear. If so, it’s important to solve these in a professional manner and as soon as possible to avoid it affecting your results.
Begin by acknowledging the issue and asking questions to understand the root of the problem. Make sure to communicate without criticising people – after all, no one is perfect. By keeping the issue professional rather than personal, you’ll avoid making the problem worse.
Once the problem has been addressed, work as a group to come up with a solution. For example, if someone feels as though they have too many tasks on their plate, then work together to help re-delegate tasks.
Sometimes it feels easier to take on all roles and responsibilities yourself, as you feel more in control of the result. However, delegating tasks and taking pressure off yourself tends to lead to the best result.
Speak with your team to find out what they’re good at and how much time they have on their hands, and delegate the tasks accordingly. Continue to have regular check-ins to make sure everyone is on top of their tasks, or if someone has extra time to help with other bits.
Once you have decided who does what, set clear deadlines for when tasks need to be completed.
Working on a group project in an office? Set up internal deadlines and catchups, and make sure there’s enough time for things to be approved by your seniors. Closing the coffee shop? Make a list of what needs to be done before closing, and what should be left until after the doors have been locked.
Depending on the scale of the project you’re working on, it’s worth factoring in review time. For example, if you’re presenting on a Monday morning, it’s great to have the project completed a few days beforehand to implement any changes rather than last thing on a Friday. This helps reduce stress in the group and means everyone can finish their job on time, with plenty of time to make amends if needed.
Support each other
Lastly, have each other’s backs and support each other.
Make sure to catch up as a team to check in with how everyone’s getting on with their work. Are they on track or are they struggling with their workload?
It’s important to remember that any team works best when all members are behind each other. A positive attitude and a helping hand go a long way. If you see someone struggling, see if there’s anything you or the team can do to help. Maybe someone has finished a task earlier than expected and can help or can dedicate five minutes of their time to explain something another teammate is struggling with.
Still searching for your perfect team? Find a job you love.