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Teamwork and collaboration

Teamwork involves working collaboratively with a group of people to achieve a goal or common purpose. It is a crucial part of a business as it is often essential for colleagues to work well together and to do their best in any circumstance.

Why is it important?

Teamwork is important because it will usually involve a wide range of other skills and competencies. This can include: collaboration, communication skills, understanding other people’s views, active listening skills, working with different personalities, emotional intelligence, people skills, influencing or negotiating skills, cooperation, providing constructive feedback, dealing with negative feedback and resolving conflict etc.

  • Because of all of this (and more), teamwork and collaboration skills are seen as fundamental skills.
  • They are assessed throughout the recruitment process
  • Essential for all, especially for managers and all senior level roles
  • Those who are good at teamwork and collaborators get things done – they achieve results
  • People with good collaboration and teamwork skills motive and inspire others
  • Good team workers are more effective workers – so they are in demand across all areas of an organisation

How do I get better at it?

There are plenty of resources to help you develop your teamwork and collaboration skills.

How can I demonstrate it when applying for jobs?

Demonstrating it – in your CV and job applications

Employers will want to see that you are good at teamwork and can demonstrate good collaboration with others. You should think of examples from your previous work experience as well as examples taken from your leisure time and hobbies. What you do in your free time can tell an employer a lot about how motivated you are and what type of a team player you are. Watch the webinar entitled: ‘key skills and how to demonstrate these in your job applications.’

Demonstrating it – at interview

If you are asked at an interview to talk about a time when you worked in a team, be constructive. Even if you’ve only ever had bad experiences, you should give a more diplomatic answer… Don’t say anything along the lines of “It was awful, I was surrounded by incompetent people”. That will only make an employer see you as arrogant and unwilling to cooperate!

It’s okay to talk about how challenging an experience it was, as long as you explain what you did to ensure that it all worked out in the end. Explain how you contributed to the team, even if you weren’t leading it, and make sure you communicate your positive attitude.

What will your boss expect from you?

When you join a work place it can be difficult to know what to expect. This ICAEW article identifies five key traits your boss will expect from you from day one. Read more to understand how to fit in a new team.