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Career Development

Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

March 26, 2020

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Teamwork skills are essential to your success at work, no matter your industry or job title. Working well with clients, colleagues, managers and other people in your workplace can help you complete tasks efficiently while creating an enjoyable environment both for yourself and others. An organization is that emphasizes good teamwork skills is typically a healthy, high-functioning workplace.

In this article, we take a closer look at what teamwork skills are, how you can improve them and other soft skills that can help you be a good teammate.

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What are teamwork skills?

Teamwork skills are the qualities and abilities that allow you to work well with others during conversations, projects, meetings or other collaborations. Having teamwork skills is dependent on your ability to communicate well, actively listen and be responsible and honest. There are many other additional soft skills that can help you be an exceptional teammate at work we will discuss more below.

Related: 6 Tips for Effective Teamwork

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Why are teamwork skills important?

You will be required to work alongside others in every industry at every level in your career. Doing so in an empathetic, efficient and responsible manner can help you accomplish career goals, grow your resume and contribute positively to your organization. It can also help you build rapport with others. Building rapport can lead to deeper working relationships, new connections and possibly new opportunities.

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Examples of teamwork skills

Teamwork skills are made up of many other soft skills you can work to develop over time. Here are just a few examples of qualities that can help you improve your teamwork skills:

  • Communication: The ability to communicate in a clear, efficient way is a critical teamwork skill. When working with others, it is important that you share relevant thoughts, ideas and key information. There are many different types of communication skills including both verbal and nonverbal.

  • Responsibility: Within the dynamic of teamwork, it is important that the parties involved both understand the work they are responsible for and make the effort to complete said tasks on time and up to the expected standard. With the entire team functioning properly by taking responsibility for their own work, they can work together towards a common goal.

  • Honesty: Practicing honesty and transparency at work might mean working through a disagreement, explaining that you were not able to complete a certain task on time or sharing difficult updates. Without transparency, it can be difficult for a team to develop trust and therefore work together efficiently.

  • Active listening: Much like communication, active listening skills can help a team to understand and trust each other. Active listening is the act of making an effort to focus intently on one person as they share their ideas, thoughts or feelings. You might also ask follow-up questions to dig deeper into what they are communicating.

  • Empathy: Having empathy for your teammates can allow you to better understand their motives and feelings. Taking the time to listen and understand how others think and work can help you to communicate with them in the right ways.

  • Collaboration: Teamwork exists so that a group of individuals with a diverse set of skills and talents can work together towards a common goal. It is crucial to work with other teammates to share ideas, improve each other’s work and help one another to form a good team.

  • Awareness: In teamwork, it is important that you hone your ability to be aware of the team dynamic at all times. For example, if one person is dominating the conversation or does not allow others to share ideas, it is important that balance is restored for each teammate to contribute evenly. Alternatively, if one person tends to be shyer and hesitant to share ideas, it is important to create space so that all teammates feel comfortable to contribute their unique skills and abilities.

Related: 6 Qualities That Make a Great Team Player

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How to improve your teamwork skills

While it can take time and work to improve soft skills such as teamwork, it is certainly possible to build these qualities. Here are a few steps you can take to improve your teamwork skills:

  • Get honest feedback. It can be difficult to identify your own areas of improvement. Finding a trusted friend, colleague or mentor that can offer you honest feedback about your teamwork strengths and weaknesses can help you improve them.

  • Set personal goals. Using both your own observations and feedback from others to form achievable, relevant and time-constrained goals can help you improve one teamwork skill at a time. Using the SMART goal framework is an easy way to set appropriate goals for your career.

  • Practice. It takes time and practice to see improvements in your skillset. Pay close attention to your teamwork interactions throughout the day both in and out of work. Take mindful steps to practice the specific qualities you are trying to build.

  • Mimic others with strong teamwork skills. When you see examples of great teamwork, take note and identify why the interaction stood out to you. Apply those qualities in your own interactions when working with others.

Developing teamwork skills can help you both in your career and when seeking new opportunities. Take time to evaluate your current skill set and identify areas for improvement. With time and practice, you can begin building a strong set of teamwork skills.

Related: What are the Pros and Cons of Group Work?

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