I can’t, but WE can
“Teamwork makes the dream work.” — John C. Maxwell
Have you ever worked in a team environment? One where everyone contributed and made the team function successfully? Have you ever thought about what elements would make a team successful? If the answer is ‘no’, this blog will give you an idea of the fundamental and essential elements of great teamwork.
In this blog, I am going to:
- Analyze the components of successful teamwork;
- Share how we utilized the above elements in our practicum project to make accomplishments that I am most proud of.
What are the main elements that make a team function successfully?
Effective communication is the key to teamwork. Team members need to communicate honestly and promptly. Also, being a good communicator means being a good listener. Each group member should keep open-minded when listening to others’ ideas. This will create a friendly and open atmosphere for group members to share their honest ideas.
Strong teamwork requires team members to learn about each other’s strengths and weaknesses. By learning from each other, the team will be good at identifying all aspects of a project and delegating tasks fairly to the most appropriate team members.
Team members should be supportive and always work towards the advancement of team goals. If one runs into difficulties, others should try their best to support him or her. By supporting each other, the whole team could not only improve their performance but also improve their professional development.
How did we utilize the above elements in our practicum project?
On February 3rd, 2021, our team of five presented our work progress virtually on Angel Flight West’s annual retreat. We branded our project as a means to increase Angel Flight West’s reliability and more efficiently optimize AFW’s volunteer resources. The process of preparing for this retreat was not as smooth as expected. We made a major change on both presentations and prototype deliverables two days before the annual treat. With the time running out, luckily, all of our team members have strong team spirit and work hard together to make the presentation perfect.
Our initial presentation and prototype deliverables were focused more on the technical aspects of our models, for example, variables selections, model selections, and model accuracy, etc. However, after realizing the audience of the annual retreat are not going to care as much about the technical aspects of the model as we do, we decided to focus more on the business sides of the model, for example, how our model will bring changes to the organization, how our model will impact daily operations, and so on. Such topics would keep audiences intrigued through our presentation.
Once our team agreed upon these major changes, we immediately hold a meeting where everyone attended. We effectively communicated with each other during the meeting. We both shared our thoughts and listened to other’s ideas. We first outlined our presentation sections and decided together the contents to put on each slide. Then, based on each other’s strengths and weaknesses, we delegated our tasks: two people are in charge of writing presentation scripts, two people are responsible for changing the contents of the slides, and one person is in charge of beautifying the presentation. We created hard deadlines for each task and arranged another group meeting to practice the presentation.
During our second meeting, we went through the presentation slide by slide. We commented on each slide if there are changes needed. After the PowerPoint is settled, two presenters practiced the presentation in front of the whole group. We supported each other and gave corresponding suggestions. We ran through presentations several times before the retreat.
By the time of the annual retreat, our group has already been well prepared. The presentation turned out great and the audience loved our presentation.
Our team could not accomplish such success if everyone did not contribute to the team. Just as Steven Jobs said, “Great things in business are never done by one person.”
Teamwork has always been a significant capability for organizations. However, with companies going through disruption and digitization, it is even more critical in today’s “innovate or die” economy for employees to collaborate effectively within projects and across different business departments.
Hope this blog could help with your teamwork strategies and improve your teamwork experience!