By Darlyna Hong
Another year at university comes another semester, which comes with another group assignment. Being able to work in a team is an essential skill for almost every workplace, so it is crucial for students to learn how to work effectively with others. Whether you’re a Media and Communications Manager, or working at McDonald’s, teamwork will be a regular part of your day-to-day life. But what do you do when someone else isn’t pulling their weight? Or even if you find yourself struggling? Whatever it may be, here are our top tips on how to work well in a team environment.
Discuss with your team what you are going to achieve, whether that is your goal for the day or for the task. This will help lay out the foundation of what your group must do. It will also help everyone know their strengths and what they are most interested in doing to contribute to the team.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of working in a team. Even if you feel like your idea might be ‘stupid’, others might not think so. In a team, everyone is an equal member, and everyone’s ideas and opinions should be valued. If you feel like someone isn’t offering any ideas or opinions, ask them! They might not feel confident enough to say something and need a bit of encouragement.
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. If an issue arises, bring it up respectfully and professionally, in a way that you would like to be spoken to. This builds trust and a positive work environment.
Sometimes, someone might need a bit of a push with their work and you may have to provide a bit of constructive criticism to help them along. However, it is important to know the difference between constructive criticism and an insult. It should not be a personal attack, and just be advice for them to take on board.
Set a timeline
Set a timeline for achieving your goals to make sure you avoid doing everything last minute! If you approach a task with clear goals and dates for completion, it will also help divide the group work evenly and ensure everyone pulls their weight.
Dealing with conflict
Dealing with conflict is one of the most difficult parts of working in a team, but it is also one that – if handled correctly – can make the team stronger and can stimulate team creativity. If an issue arises, it should be dealt with as soon as possible. This way the issue can be resolved and the team can keep working at their best.