When you’re on a team, it is not unnatural for you to want to do great, impressive things that gain recognition and praise from your teammates and others around you. You want to feel appreciated and valued as a person, so you try hard to get that special attention. Despite this, it is important to not forget that you should still be doing these things for the good of the entire team, and not just for yourself. When you’re part of a team, it is the team that matters most in the long run. Furthermore, the relationship you have with your teammates is what is most vital to accomplishing tasks and reaching goals. Individual strengths and talents are important, but team relationships and effective teamwork is crucial. Therefore, we have seven tips for you to strengthen the relationships you have with each of your teammates in order to work best together:
1. Set clear goals for the team. Work as a team to set clear goals, and be sure to share each goal with everybody involved. In order to work toward the goals effectively, everybody must be aware of what they include and what it will take to achieve them.
2. Be kind and respect one another. Kindness and respect travel much further than expected most of the time. Never undermine others on your team. Jealousy, gossip, resentment, prejudice, and the like should be completely out of the question when you are part of a team, or working together with others. Furthermore, you should be able to offer and accept constructive criticism in a kind and respectful way. Rather than dishing out negative comments, practice giving targeted, supportive, and constructive feedback that will help the other person and the situation in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully people will do the same for you, and you will be able to accept this feedback in a respectful way as well.
3. Divide tasks and delegate work appropriately. This requires recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of your teammates and divvying up tasks accordingly. If you know that one of your teammates struggles with something specific, avoid assigning this type of work to them. Instead, provide them with something they excel at. This should be the case with each team member, as it will help with individual self-esteem, as well as with the overall success of the team. Moreover, as people complete their own tasks, they should offer to help others with their tasks if necessary.
4. Trust your teammates and yourself. Be there for each other and support each other when issues arise or mistakes are made. Trust that you and/or your teammates will learn from any mistakes, bounce back from them, and be even better than before because of them. Furthermore, in order to earn and build the trust of your fellow teammates, show up on time, own up to your work and your mistakes, take responsibility whenever necessary, and always perform to the best of your abilities.
5. Recognize and respect the ideas and efforts of your teammates. It is important to remember that everyone’s opinions matter equally. The ideas and efforts of your teammates are just as important as yours are. Therefore, you should always recognize when other people make great efforts and accomplishments, and give credit and praise where it is warranted.
6. Recognize the responsibilities of yourself and others. This does not mean that you should be micromanaging your teammates, or nitpicking everything that they do. It simply means that you should be aware of what your own responsibilities are in comparison to others’ so that nobody steps on anybody else’s toes. Everybody should have a clear understanding of tasks, instructions, and goals so that they can work toward them independently, effectively, and efficiently.
7. Last but not least: Communicate! As we’ve mentioned countless times before, communication is always key when it comes to effective teamwork. Never assume that your teammates know what you’re thinking, or even what you’re talking about! Always explain these things to the best of your ability so that everybody is on the same page. For more on effective communication, see our previous blog post, 5 Ways to be an Effective Communicator.
Follow these seven essential tips for building and strengthening team relationships, and you can be sure to accomplish more than ever before! And be sure to share any additional tips you may have for building and strengthening relationships with your teammates! As always, we’d love your input!