In life, everyone will at some point have to work on a team for their job, a project, or athletics. People either dread or love teamwork. Those that dread it may have had a poor experience in the past like an ineffectively run team. Working in teams should never be seen as stressful, so below are some of my tips on how I would recommend working in teams successfully.
Comprise your group of people with differing opinions and personalities.
The best teams are teams that are well-rounded, where each member contributes to the group equally but with different perspectives. With different personalities, we can receive insight as to how to explain the same concept through a different lens. When everyone has the same viewpoints, it leaves little room for growth outside of what they already believe. People with the same views will also be likely butt heads, but varying opinions in the group can help everyone see eye to eye and find a middle ground when it comes to the topic.
Be open to criticism.
Your opinion is not always correct. That is not to say your opinion is wrong either. There are always ways to improve your understanding of a topic. Constructive criticism is essential to growth as an individual and as a team. No one is perfect, but we can always strive to do our best. That does not mean that we should be hard on ourselves when our potential is not the best. Saying that one opinion is better than another is very subjective as it is only an opinion, not a fact. Opinions can grow and mature just as a person can. Teams that are able to receive criticism and learn from it are typically some of the best teams or groups in society.
Be available and ready to explain your viewpoints.
Sometimes your views need clarity. When you are able to explain your opinion clearly, that shows that you have a well-constructed argument. However, sometimes you will need to reword your opinion in order to allow other people to understand. Sometimes, you and your partner may argue for the same exact idea, but based on how you each describe your ideology may lead you both to believe that you have completely different viewpoints. Also, be ready to explain your opinions. It is quite frustrating to be left to interpret another person’s views without their explanation. Empathy is a very important emotion when it comes to genuine human interaction as well as working with others. Never leave your group in the dark as to why you believe a specific way because once they are able to empathize with you, your team will likely be able to work efficiently and productively.
All in all, team-based work should never be seen as a waste of time or feel like an annoyance, but rather it should be seen as a way for you to grow as a person as well as a contributor to something bigger. Collaboration expertise is a highly valuable trait to have when it comes to working after college.
WRITTEN BY Jacob Concolino University of Kentucky
I am currently pursuing a BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. I am also pursuing a minor in German and have been to the country twice. I can speak some German, and I listen to every genre of music from German to country to rap to pop.