Teamwork is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as “a joint action by a group of people, in which each person subordinates his or her individual interests and opinions to the unity and efficiency of the group.” This does not mean that the individual is no longer important; however, it does mean that effective and efficient teamwork goes beyond individual accomplishments. The most effective teamwork is produced when all the individuals involved harmonize their contributions and work towards a common goal.
With so many graduates now on the market, employers will look for evidence of skills and work experience, which will make you stand out from the crowd.
Employers are keen to recruit graduates who are able to cooperate, solve problems and work in teams
You’ll need to prove that you’re a team player but also have the ability to manage and delegate to others and take on responsibility. It’s about building positive working relationships that help everyone to achieve goals and business objectives.
When you’re explaining your teamwork skills on a graduate job application form or at interviews, you will need to focus on how your personal contribution allowed a team to reach its full potential. The best way to show off any skill is to explain how you applied it to get results. However, with teamwork you will have to show how you achieved a group result.
If your team succeeded to bring in a difficult project ahead of schedule and under budget because of something you did, this would be a brilliant example. Equally, if you were able to outperform competing teams, or win a competition because of your actions, this would be a great example.
Good team players are active members. They come prepared for team meetings and listen and speak up in discussions. They’re fully engaged in the work of the team and do not sit inactively on the sidelines.
Team members who function as active participants take the initiative to help make things happen, and they volunteer for tasks. Their whole approach is the ‘can-do’ spirit.
To be a team player, you must exhibit commitment and look beyond your own piece of the work and care about the team’s overall work. In the end, your commitment should be about winning — not in the sports sense of beating your opponent but about seeing your team succeed and knowing you’ve contributed to this success. Winning as a team is one of the great motivators of employee performance.
Written : Linda Laryea