3 min read
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Teamwork is essential to the success of a company or organization. Individuals have unique personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. They also come from different backgrounds and have different experiences that shape how they send and receive messages.

These differences can result in workplace conflict. It is important to understand how to communicate with individuals from diverse backgrounds and to understand different personality traits. By recognizing these traits and understanding how to effectively work with others, teams can be efficient, productive, and successful. According to TeamStage project management, “Open communication, common goals, and defined roles are at the heart of an ambitious team.”

Following are 10 tips for effective teamwork in the workplace.

1. Practice Good Communication Skills

  • Review the “10 Tips for Communication in the Workplace,” FCS-2602 on the Alabama Extension website.
  • Practice active listening.
  • Deliver a clear message.
  • Clear up misunderstandings.

2. Work Well with Everyone

  • Identify different personalities on the team.
  • Learn how to work together.
  • Seek to understand team members.
  • Respect differences

3. Clarify Roles, Responsibilities, and Accountabilities

  • Identify the roles of each team member.
  • Align each member’s strengths with their assigned role.
  • Give each team member ownership of their role and tasks.
  • Respect each other’s roles.

4. Set Clear Goals

  • Determine a vision for the team collectively.
  • Create SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound) goals.
  • Periodically evaluate the progress of goals.
  • Adjust goals as needed.

5. Value Each Member’s Voice

  • Respect each team member.
  • Be willing to consider other’s ideas.
  • Allow each team member to contribute to the team.
  • Recognize the value of each team member.

6. Have a Team Mindset Rather than an I Mindset

  • Focus on what’s best for the team.
  • Collaborate with team members.
  • Define team goals and expectations.
  • Appreciate each team member.

7. Be Supportive of All Team Members.

  • Encourage team members.
  • Assist team members as needed.
  • Share information with team members.
  • Supply team members with the tools they need.

8. Recognize the Value of Each Team Member

  • Voice appreciation to everyone.
  • Recognize individual contributions.
  • Do random acts of kindness.
  • Say “please” and “thank you.”

9. Build Relationships

  • Build trusting relationships.
  • Be transparent.
  • Take time to get to know each other.
  • Be available.

10. Break Down Barriers

  • Encourage open dialogue.
  • Address communication issues.
  • Avoid assumptions.
  • Be careful of the perceptions you give

These tips will help build an effective team focused on goals, relationships, and the success of the team. Appreciate team members and recognize their value and contributions to the team’s success. Sometimes our perceptions may lead us to the wrong conclusions. Understand that things are not always as they appear.

It is important to avoid assumptions. Instead, get a clear understanding of a situation or concern to avoid conflict in the workplace. Building an effective team takes collaboration, communication, and the willingness to commit to the success of the team. Individual team members should work collectively to achieve the goals the team has identified. TeamStage states, “More than 60% of employees at some point feel work exhaustion but being part of a team eases the effects of it.” Recognizing the value of each team member helps to strengthen the work culture and improve employee engagement.

Alabama Extension provides educational opportunities to help empower the residents of our state. The Financial Resource Management and Workforce Development Human Sciences team provides research-based educational classes on soft skills, job search preparation, and financial literacy. Contact your county Extension office for more information on these educational opportunities or visit www.aces.edu. Information can also be requested at aceshse@auburn. edu or (334) 844-7560.


Peer ReviewEmily Hines, Human Sciences Regional Extension Agent, Financial Resource Management and Workforce Development, Auburn University

New November 2021, 10 Tips for Effective Teamwork in the Workplace, FCS-2604