Teamwork is a corporate buzzword that you have no doubt, heard several times over the course of your professional life. The complexity of today’s business environment necessitates the formation of strong teams that can achieve what individuals alone cannot. However, the concept of teamwork is not limited to the professional space. You have probably been part of various teams since early school days, starting with the small sports teams your physical education teacher assigned you to and the class-wise quiz or debating teams that you were a part of. Being part of a team comes almost naturally as a result of this early training. However, in all the situations mentioned above, communication is essential for any team. English conversation can help facilitate a healthy exchange of thoughts and ideas.
Let us now explain to you why teamwork can be a big part of your professional life.
What Teamwork Teaches You
When you become a contributor to a team of people aiming toward a common goal, you automatically start aligning towards the goals of the team and putting your best effort towards achieving them. Remember the excitement when your row in the classroom won the science quiz? Remember how fast you ran when you were in the relay team on sports day? These early experiences teach us invaluable lessons in collaboration, contribution, alignment, and leadership; all qualities we are expected to display in our professional lives.
An Example of Leadership in Teamwork
Look around you and you will see many examples of teamwork that correlate with how teams function in the workplace. Take the sport of rowing, for instance. As a competitive sport, rowing is considered the ultimate team experience. Though the team functions as a single unit, individual team members have different roles, strengths, and capabilities.
In a typical eight member team, the stern pair is responsible for setting the stroke rate and rhythm for the rest of the crew members to follow. This can be correlated to the leadership role in the team. The stroke pair must have a great sense of rhythm and consistency and must be able to get a sense of how the team is performing – who is slowing down and who is the strongest in the team. The middle four crew members on the boat are usually less technical, but more powerful members of the team. The bow pair is the most technical and is responsible for setting the balance in the boat and influencing the line on which the boat steers.
Dan Lyons, who rowed for the USA in the 1988 Seoul Olympics and has won 11 national rowing championships, sums up teamwork in rowing thus: “It’s astonishing because it feels like you have at your command the power of everybody else in the boat. You are exponentially magnified. What was a strain before becomes easier. It is absolutely the ultimate team sport.”
Balance is an Important Part of Teamwork
The team is a heterogeneous mix of roles, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses that complement each other and make up a unit that works together to meet a goal. Without that diversity, the team would be rather bland and would probably not perform to win.
What it Means to be Part of a Team
Teamwork is essentially about being a part of something larger than oneself. Another example of this is the outstanding accomplishment of a man called Erik Weihenmayer. He is the first blind man to conquer Mt. Everest. He definitely didn’t achieve this spectacular feat without a strong team by his side. He believes that the key to success is to combine one’s strengths and talents with those of the people around, to form a team that can successfully achieve the common goal. According to him, “In an environment riddled with pitfalls, roping up with good people is the best chance we have.
Imagine your team roped together, building upon each other’s strengths, growing day by day. You know if you fall, someone will stop you. If someone else falls, you stop them; it’s just automatic. People might have different responsibilities, different goals, even motives, but you link together behind one vision. The scope and power of that kind of team is unstoppable.”
Teamwork in the Corporate World
How does this relate to what you might face in today’s corporate world? At every step in the corporate world today, individuals alone cannot accomplish the type of goals and challenges they’re set. The creation of Tata Nano started with the vision statement of one man. It came to fruition through the efforts of a large and diverse team consisting of engineers, designers, supply chain specialists, manufacturing experts, marketing and salespeople, and even Tata Motors’ multiple vendors.
We may not all be involved in something as dramatic as creating the world’s cheapest car, which is obviously, the result of great teamwork. But what about something you might realistically find yourself doing soon, such as meeting your sales targets? This is also a team effort which involves the salesperson who identifies the opportunity and interacts with the client, the finance person who helps with pricing, a legal person who helps with contracting, perhaps an intermediary such as a distributor, and often even a senior sales person who may pitch in with his relationship with a senior client stakeholder.
Given the role of teamwork in today’s complex business environment, companies highly value the ability of people to work in a team. Firms always prefer team players rather than individual achievers. So, a highly talented individual who cannot function well in a team would be less desirable than someone with reasonable talent but great teamwork skills.
Develop English Conversation Skills Build Better Relationships at Work
In the contemporary business landscape, which is getting increasingly globalized, speaking the same language and communicating effectively is crucial. Today, employees with good English conversation skills can be an asset to most corporate organizations. They normally require their employees to have a strong command over their spoken English. That is why as an employee, it is a good idea for you to try and learn English to the best of your ability. Learning English will not only allow you to excel at your job, but will also open doors to many other opportunities in life.
Learning English takes effort, but small steps every day can make a big difference, especially with regard to your career path. To learn in simple steps from home, try the free EnglishHelper English speaking course. This English program is designed to help you improve your English conversation skills.