Behind every successful business is a team that works well together. However, developing teamwork skills with your employees is a process that takes time and will require leadership that’s both effective and inspiring. We asked experts to share crucial teamwork skills your employees will need as you work towards your company goals this year.
Here are 23 top teamwork skills your company needs to grow in 2019:
Pat Myles, Owner & President, Myles Pest Services
We want someone who will show up, stick to deadlines, and complete jobs that they’re assigned so the rest of our team feels like they can trust them. If someone doesn’t show up, their teammates will have to step in and complete their stops or customers might not be serviced in a timely manner.
Matthew Ross, Co-Owner & COO, Rizknows, LLC
A solid team member is more concerned about helping the company grow overall rather than their individual performance. In other words, they put the company ahead of themselves. This trait can be expressed in a variety of ways in the workplace. One simple tip for employers to incentive unselfish behavior is to institute some sort of company bonus for the employees as a whole.
3. Willingness to Embrace Failure
Todd Goldstein, CEO & Co-Founder, LaunchHouse
We embrace failure and look for anyone at our company to do the same. We want team members who are going to try new things out. When team members know they can fail, they are more confident in trying to find new and creative solutions to a problem rather than being scared that their failure will be held against them.
4. Conflict Management
Debbie Winkelbauer, CEO, Surf Search, Inc.
I always look for conflict management skills (being able to mediate and solve problems) in a resume or in a job interview. It is the hardest part of working in a group and a huge asset for the team leader. One can improve their conflict management skills by practicing stress management, listening carefully to the team members, and making an effort to understand the problem or conflict before reacting.
Maggie Aland, Marketing & Review Editor, Fit Small Business
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6. Collaborative Mindset
Sean Carney, Career & Small Business Coach, SMC Coach
Collaboration isn’t just putting a group together and hoping for the best, nor is it compromising. It is working together to problem solve and come up with the best solution or product for a client. If done without intention, or incorrectly, you will either get the solution from the person with the strongest personality, which will likely be wrong, or a dysfunctional team where your best collaborators ultimately leave.
7. Active Listening
Val Streif, Senior Content Manager, Pramp
Being able to step out of your ego, fully engage, and listen to others on your team will improve your overall communication skills as well as boost your empathy and emotional intelligence. Mindful listening is also helpful for making sure you’re processing important information, instead of just nodding your head and then forgetting what was said in the meeting two minutes later.
8. Positive Attitude
Lauren Herring, CEO, IMPACT Group
Great employees pay attention to fine details while demonstrating integrity, authenticity, and a positive attitude. They also have the stamina to deliver exceptional work and set the pace for others to follow.
9. Willingness to Ask for Help
James Lloyd-Townshend, CEO, Nelson Frank
Don’t underestimate how valuable it is to ask for help. There’s nothing embarrassing about putting your hand up. In fact, it can even make your team stronger. Opening that channel and turning to your colleagues for guidance not only makes you more approachable, it also gives the person you’re asking a confidence boost.
Marc Prosser, Co-Founder, Fit Small Business
Communication is key to achieving company-wide goals, but this can be a challenge to larger businesses with many moving parts. You’ll need a system that will keep you and your team connected even while on the go. RingCentral is a VoIP phone service that offers unlimited calling, a multilevel auto-attendant, voicemail, and audio and video conferencing. Its advanced features, as well as its scalability and generous toll-free minutes, set it apart from other VoIP providers. Click here for a free trial.
11. Focus & Drive
Matt Dodgson, Director, Market Recruitment
Look for a navigator. This person might not be the team lead, but they are a supportive force as they encourage everyone to contribute to the brainstorming session and don’t share or allow any negative criticisms of ideas. A tip to improve these skills is to keep a parking lot for ideas that risk becoming tangents. When a potential tangent arises, write down the topic and steer the conversation back towards the ultimate goal.
Antonio Wedral, Founder, NOVOS
An essential teamwork skill to have is the ability to be respectful no matter what. I always notice if someone is listening to others and waiting for them to finish, even if they disagree, and how they talk to others as well. If you’re able to respect everyone in the room and their opinions, as well as respectfully getting your side across, you can always find an agreement.
13. Ability to Delegate
Stephen Hart, CEO, Cardswitcher
Delegation is all about assigning responsibility for the completion of tasks to particular employees. The key to doing it successfully is to think about the talents that are inherent in your team and divide tasks between the people who are most suited to them.
14. Ability to Task Share
Dominic Pleškus, Co-Founder, Multiorders
Employees need to be able to bounce ideas off of each other, divide tasks that are best suited to their skill sets, and solve problems as a team. Improve communication either by playing cooperative games at team building events or by assigning multiple people to do a group task. The latter might slightly hurt performance from the start if the assigned team members are not used to working alongside others, but in the long run, as everyone’s skills increase, it will make for a much more productive environment.
Gavin Graham, Editor, Fit Small Business
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Vladimir Gendelman, CEO & Founder, Company Folders, Inc.
Self-awareness is important because when you understand your personal strengths, weaknesses, fears, and ambitions, you are able to set the proper boundaries with your team and play to your strengths. One person’s weaknesses could be your strengths and vice versa, which will help the team overall. It also creates better communication among your team when you all know each other’s tolerances and limitations.
17. Ability to Take Feedback
Alexandra Zelenko, Marketer & Technical Writer, DDI Development
Feedback skills are key to working cohesively and effectively as a team. Giving and receiving feedback, both positive and negative, is essential in any team-working situation and valuable when making important decisions. Being able to provide clear and practical feedback to others is vital to keep the teamwork running effectively. Team members should also learn how to receive the feedback gracefully and then act on it calmly.
Eli Howayeck, Career Coach, Crafted Career Concepts
Hiring people who possess empathy stacks the deck in the team’s favor. The ability to walk in another’s shoes and be vulnerable when necessary for the sake of another team member, or the overall team, is what keeps healthy teams healthy, and prevents unhealthy teams from achieving the results they desire.
19. Ability to Recognize Talents in Others
Laurie Richards, CEO, LR&A, Inc.
A good team is made up of people with a variety of talents who have learned to leverage the talents of each player for the strongest team. Focus on the value that an individual brings to the team. It opens your eyes to the importance of diversity in age, ethnicity, occupations, priorities, knowledge, skills, and talents. That fresh perspective also opens opportunities for your team and organization.
20. Appreciation of Strengths
Dr. Jeanie Cockell & Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair, Co-Presidents, Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting
Look at what is working well in order to get more of it. Appreciate, amplify, and build on strengths, individual as well as the strengths of the team as a whole. Team members can do this by being curious and asking positive, generative questions that support individual and team development. Teams that recognize and amplify strengths are better able to meet expectations, innovate, and take risks.
21. Willingness to be Dependent on Others
Elizabeth Hiza, Chief of Staff, The Barnum Financial Group
In other words, trust your colleagues and teammates. A successful team is made up of individuals with complementary skill sets that, when meshed, create synergy. Confident in how their role and actions contribute to the collective good, members of the team strive to be the best in their area, trusting their teammates are doing the same. People trust one another more if they can relate to each other, and spending time with someone can help a person discover similar likes and even dislikes.
Igor Gramyko, Owner, Highwater Standard
We need teams to become as decisive as ever these days because of the fact that things rarely slow down. Decisiveness has multiple aspects to it—you need to able to put things into perspective, weigh your options, quickly gather the necessary information, and then anticipate the consequences of your choice. Businesses should look for people who are good at assessing the situation and then going through this process quickly and efficiently.
Gennady Litvin, Attorney, Moshes Law
Being adaptable is one of the driving factors when it comes to building a team for success in this day and age. Things are constantly moving at a rapid pace, so the teams that are able to anticipate frequent changes in the market and adjust accordingly will see a higher rate of growth compared to their competition. Being flexible enough to adapt to the changes in the market should be one of the skills businesses look for in potential employees.
Bonus Skill. Willingness to Learn
Monica Eaton-Cardone, Co-Founder & COO, Chargebacks911®
One of the benefits of working with a team is that everyone brings different strengths. Team members balance out each other’s weaknesses while sharing expertise and skills to make their peers stronger. Of course, that’s assuming everyone involved has a willingness to learn. I’d absolutely take a candidate who has limited experience but can soak up information like a sponge over a candidate who’s considered an expert and believes he or she has nothing left to learn.
If you feel that your business could have done much better last year with more team effort, then it’s time to evaluate the employee development program you have in place. Include this list of teamwork skills and tips from the pros to help achieve more of your business milestones this year.
Got more important teamwork skills you’d like to see in our list? Let us know in the comments.