22 Important Teamwork Skills (With Examples)

By Sky Ariella - May. 11, 2021
Skills Based Articles

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Teamwork is essential to any successful endeavor, whether the goal is creating the next great innovation in environmental technology or running a profitable farm. A cohesive team is one that will create the best work possible.

Having strong teamwork skills is attractive to a lot of hiring managers and recruiters.

Recruiters want to know how well you will collaborate with their current team if you’re hired. A large part of the interview process is often about determining a candidate’s teamwork skills. Having a variety of soft skills related to working effectively on a team can increase your odds of being hired, and exceeding expectations as an employee.

What Are Teamwork Skills?

Teamwork skills are a blanket term for a variety of crucial workplace soft skills. It refers to your ability to work well with other people, in both a one-on-one capacity and in a group setting.

You’re probably familiar with team-building from when you played soccer in high school or participated in a club. The introduction of these skills early on is for good reason. They’re needed for practically every interaction, professional or personal, you’ll have in the future.

Employers seek to hire applicants with teamwork skills because they want to advance their community, as opposed to disrupting it. Listing examples of your teamwork skills in your resume can greatly improve your chances of getting a job.

Types of Teamwork Skills

Being a team player isn’t just one distinct quality. It’s a collection of many soft skills that may come naturally to you, or that you can improve on to make yourself a more competitive applicant and competent employee.

Examples of teamwork skills include:

  1. Communication. Good communication skills are arguably some of the most valuable skills team members can have. Businesses need effective communicators on their staff for projects to run smoothly and the client’s needs to be met properly.

    Communication is more than simply being confident in your conversational skills. It’s the summation of many good communication habits.

    Effective team communication relies on:

    • Active listening skills

    • Being friendly

    • Respect

    • Email communication

    • Paying attention to body language

    • Understanding your audience

    • Accurately express your ideas

    • Asking questions when needed

  2. Conflict management. Facing conflict happens eventually in positions at every level in the workforce. How you deal with conflict speaks volumes about your skills as an employee in any field, and can greatly improve your career growth.

    A candidate with strong conflict management skills looks at disagreement on your team as an opportunity for further clarification and collaboration.

    Constructive conflict management techniques include:

    • Always being open for discussion

    • Remaining unbiased

    • Addressing issues immediately

    • Actively listening before a response

    • Optimism

    • Effective negotiation

    • Solution-based strategic thinking

    There are plenty of resources available online for improving you or your team’s conflict management skills.

  3. Active listening. Many of the abilities needed to be a great team player are based on listening skills. The concept of listening isn’t nearly as exciting for most people as speaking and expressing their own views.

    However, active listening involves more than just sitting back and collecting the general idea of your team’s input. It’s a process of connection where both the speaker and listener can leave the interaction feeling satisfied with their understanding.

    Active listening skills include:

    • Giving your undivided attention to the speaker

    • Paying attention to nonverbal cues

    • Making eye contact

    • Repeating points for clarification

    • Asking questions

  4. Reliability. Your team needs to know wholeheartedly that they can rely on you. Being a reliable part of a team means accomplishing the job requirements and finishing assignments before their deadline.

    If employers find your reliability skills questionable, they may doubt your ability to be an effective team member. This can result in landing fewer positions or not being trusted to handleleadership roles.

  5. Respectfulness. Being respectful to everyone at your job makes for a much more comfortable work environment. This is a quality you should carry to all your professional interactions.

    Whether you’re a supervisor giving constructive criticism to an employee, or collaborating with a co-worker. Respectful employees are sought-after by hiring managers because they create a better work atmosphere and that makes for better productivity.

  6. Ability to build rapport. Rapport in your professional life can be summed up as working in productive harmony with your supervisor and coworkers. In addition to working professionally with your team, you can also have enthusiastic conversations with them.

    Being able to openly exchange dialogue like this is important for a team to meet their full capacity. Having rapport with coworkers allows for dialogue and a healthy exchange of ideas. This can lead to better planning, innovation, and an overall more enjoyable workday.

    Techniques for building rapport include:

    • Maintaining eye contact

    • Friendliness

    • Being honest

    • Asking coworkers questions about themselves

    • Finding commonalities

    • Displaying empathy and interest

    • Following up on past conversations

  7. Accountability. Holding yourself accountable for your work is a desirable teamwork skill. It allows your coworkers to trust you. Nobody wants to deal with team members who shift blame for faults or can’t acknowledge their mistakes.

    Accountability is important for employers building a team because if you hold yourself accountable, you won’t want to present anything other than your best work.

  8. Creativity. It’s always possible for a company or project to succeed by sticking to the norm for how things are done. However, building a team of creative thinkers can greatly improve your chances of advancing. Hiring managers seek out creative applicants because their outside-the-box thinking can drive innovation in their organization.

  9. Decision-making. Decisiveness can make you a competitive job applicant when supervisors are considering who will make their team run more effectively. This doesn’t mean making decisions for the whole group without considering alternative input, but instead, being able to contribute to decision making on a team.

    Decision-making skills include:

    • A complete understanding of the project or problem

    • Considering various plans to reach goals

    • Using critical thinking

    • Effective communication

    • Delegation

    • Implementing solutions

  10. Delegating. Functional teams often have leaders with powerful delegation skills. Delegating means clearly assigning tasks and deadlines to the team members best equipped to handle them.

    No single person can do everything or nothing. Unless everyone knows exactly what they’re responsible for, there will be chaos. Being a successful delegator is very important for team dynamics because without it tasks can often be mismanaged.

    Strong delegating skills involve:

    • Clearly explaining guidelines and expectations

    • Communicating well

    • Defining roles

    • People management

    • Scheduling

    • Fairness

    • Setting reachable goals

    • Collaboration

    • Trust

  11. Encouragement. People like to berecognized for their accomplishments.

    Part of being a supportive team member is being able to encourage your coworkers for a job well done. Encouragement can also be an important skill to use for team motivation when things can be done better. Constructive criticism isn’t supposed to be mean or harsh; it’s meant to encourage your team towards improvement.

  12. Innovation. We exist in an ever-changing world. Part of being successful in it is progressing. Being innovative can make you a more desirable employee because it means you’ll be bringing in new ideas and ways of doing things to the team.

  13. Organization. At some point or another, every employee has let their organizational skills slip and their work has suffered as a result.

    It can be a time-consuming headache to correct oversights made by poor organizational skills. Being organized is especially important when it comes to being a team player because everyone can be affected by your mistakes. A team that seamlessly organizes their work in coordination with each other will have much better results.

    Being an organized team member involves:

    • Keeping track of deadlines

    • Planning ahead

    • Adhering to a set schedule

    • Time-management skills

    • Attention to detail

    • Setting and meeting goals

  14. Persuasion. Persuasion isn’t a slimy, underhanded way of getting people to bend to your will. It’s actually a very reputable skill involved in good teamwork and management.

    Persuasion is described as getting someone to change, do, or consider something different. Within your team, persuasion can be useful in providing motivation and communication.

  15. Project management. Being successful in your projects is the goal for all organizations. Project management skills are important for leaders building a strong team.

    They want to know that the work they assign will be handled well and promptly. In addition, project management skills mean that you can organize and delegate the team in their tasks constructively.

    Project management skills involve:

    • Strong communication

    • Giving feedback

    • Maintaining a positive attitude

    • Organization

    • Delegation

    • Being detail-oriented

    • Prioritizing

  16. Project planning. Having skills in project planning is all about being ahead of the curve. Unforeseen events can occur. Issues can, and probably will arise.

    However, thanks to your forethought, there aren’t any overly negative consequences that can’t be fixed. Planning skills can greatly improve the effectiveness of a team and the success of an individual project.

  17. Receiving feedback. One of the most valuable tools a team has for resolving problems is giving andreceiving useful feedback. The ability to utilize relevant feedback from your coworkers and supervisors to improve your job performance is beneficial for an entire team function.

    Even though getting positive may feel great, suggesting how you could advance your work can be even most essential to your growth. Being able to take negative feedback and turn it into improvement in work is an extremely valuable asset to have in any job.

  18. Presentation. Presentation skills are something you’ll eventually need when working on a team. Presentations can bring up a bit of performance anxiety for a lot of people.

    The truth is, presenting doesn’t have to be a performance and isn’t nearly as scary. A good presentation comes from a place of authenticity. Having presentation skills means being able to accurately and concisely articulate points and plans.

    Utilizing presentation skills can help:

    • Motivate and connect a team

    • Outline detailed plans for success

    • Stimulate customer relations

    • Improve workplace confidence

    • Reach goals

  19. Self-awareness. For a team to work in cohesion, each of its contributors must have skills in self-awareness. It’s difficult to be a helpful member of a team when you don’t understand yourself and your appearance to others.

    It requires enough mindfulness to see yourself in a realistic light, for both your strengths and weaknesses. When each member of a team applies self-awareness, it can have beneficial impacts on their productivity and coordination.

  20. Supportiveness. A professional team should care about each other as much as they do the project at hand. A supportive environment is easier to work in. That’s a setting leaders want to foster.

    Being a supportive team-player involves:

    • Listening to your team members

    • Giving relevant resources

    • Asking questions and being curious

    • Good rapport

    • Trust

    • Offering advice and help

  21. Time management. We have a lot to balance in the time we’re given. Social lives, family priorities, and work can end up feeling like they need more than 24 hours in a day to be fully tended to.

    Being good with time management can have ripple effects on the quality of work you produce. Being able to efficiently balance your time can improve your teamwork skills by making you a more reliable coworker.

    Time management skills include:

    • Setting realistic goals

    • Planning ahead

    • Maintaining a strict schedule

    • Knowing and meeting deadlines

    • Prioritizing tasks

    • Immediately addressing issues

  22. Trustworthiness. Trust within a team is essential for working well together. It’s an all-around important skill for employees to have no matter if they’re the boss or a recent hire.

    A supervisor needs to trust their team to get a job done, and employees need to trust that their boss is looking out for their best interests. Without trust, many other skills associated with teamwork can’t be done effectively.

    Trust within a team is needed for:

  23. Communication

  24. Supportiveness

  25. Rapport

  26. Conflict Management

  27. Delegating

Team Roles: Where Do Your Teamwork Skills Shine?

Teams are naturally made up of individuals with different strengths and weaknesses. Part of honing and showcasing your teamwork skills is leaning into your natural role on a team and avoiding elements of teamwork that aren’t in your wheelhouse.

Modern companies often break down teams based on “Belbin Team Roles,” a framework devised by Dr. Meredith Belbin that helps organize teams more effectively.

Three categories (social, thinking, and action) are broken down into nine total team roles:

    Social

  1. Coordinator. This is the big-picture person who keeps everyone else on the right track. They recognize strengths and weaknesses in others, create goals, and delegate tasks. Coordinators have to be careful not to over-delegate, leaving themselves without any further contributions to make to the team.

  2. Resource Investigator. This individual is outgoing and enthusiastic. They are constantly curious about learning new ways of doing things and always bring fresh ideas to the table. Their biggest weakness is that they have trouble following through on a plan once the initial excitement has worn off.

  3. Teamworker. Think of this as your auxiliary team member who’s always willing to step in to help when needed. They’re perceptive, cooperative, and great listeners.

    Teamworkers only weakness is that they can be hesitant about making unpopular decisions because they’re too focused on avoiding conflict.

  4. Thinking

  5. Monitor Evaluator. This is your team’s logician; the person who’s constantly looking for the best strategy for a project. They’re impartial and fair judges.

    Monitor evaluators most significant flaw is “paralysis by analysis” — they’re often slow to come to a decision because they spend a lot of time verifying that it’s the right one.

  6. Plant. A plant is your team’s creative powerhouse. They’re great at brainstorming and coming up with innovative solutions to problems. Plants might struggle to communicate their wild ideas and can become forgetful about small, but important, details of a project.

  7. Specialist. This team member is an absolute expert in one particular aspect of their field. They’re the go-to person when an issue relating to their specialty pops up.

    A specialist’s biggest flaw is that they struggle to think outside their narrow view of things. They might also be the type to present massive amounts of information without providing adequate context to make it useful.

  8. Action

  9. Complete Finisher. This is the team member that makes sure that the final product is 100% perfect and error-free. They’re the quality control types who will never stop looking for ways to improve things.

    Complete finishers can fall victim to perfectionism and struggle to trust others to complete tasks up to their standard.

  10. Implementer. Implementers are practical people who do the heavy lifting in getting a team from Point A to Point B. They take ideas and turn them into highly efficient actions.

    These team members don’t like it when a plan changes halfway through and can be a bit inflexible about changing what they saw as the best course of action.

  11. Shaper. This is the “get things done” person on your team. They provide motivation and vision for the team, and lead by example with tireless energy and momentum.

    Shapers need to be careful that they don’t become too aggressive in putting a project’s success over the team’s well-being.

How to Improve Your Teamwork Skills

Teamwork skills are made up of soft skills, which are less straightforward to improve than hard skills. However, it’s still possible to start honing your teamwork skills today.

  • Practice at work. Start volunteering to help your team out more and learn where your skills are most needed and valued. Look for opportunities to work with new people so that you can practice building interpersonal relationships with a diverse set of individuals.

  • Get feedback. One of the easiest ways to develop goals for your teamwork skills is to ask your team members for feedback. Ask a friend, coworker, mentor, or supervisor to evaluate your ability to work with a team. Try to get honest feedback on both your strengths and weaknesses, so you know where to direct your efforts.

  • Observe your team. There are probably people on your team who you admire for their ability to collaborate. Observe their behaviors and words to learn what exactly you find so admirable about them. Then, try to incorporate those same qualities into your life at work.

  • Set goals. After you’ve identified areas for improvement, set concrete goals for your teamwork skills. Check in early and often with your teammates and supervisor to get continuous feedback on the adjustments you begin to make. Others will recognize your enhanced collaborative abilities, which will provide motivation to keep becoming a better team member.

How to Highlight Teamwork Skills on a Resume

Teamwork skills are valuable, but it’s equally important that you communicate your colllaborative abilities in your application materials. When you’re reading a job description, pay attention to words that indicate teamwork like:

  • Collaborate

  • Partner

  • Relationship-building

  • Network

  • Teamwork

  • Team-player

Seeing as most large companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to screen resumes for keywords, it’s imperative that you mimic language from the job description to describe your accomplishments and skills.

Let’s take a look at an example:

Work Experience

  • Collaborated with Sales and Product teams to develop marketing campaigns, resulting in increased annual sales of new products by 51%

  • Developed and managed a cross-functional team to find cost-saving measures, saving over $50K in overhead costs each quarter

  • Worked with an international team of 12 contractors virtually to design, write, and code landing pages that exceeded our 20% conversion goal

You can also include “Teamwork” or one of its related words in your skills section. However, it’s always more powerful to show examples of your teamwork throughout your resume. If you can include quantifiable results, like the above candidate, that will have an even greater impact.

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Author

Sky Ariella

Sky Ariella is a professional freelance writer, originally from New York. She has been featured on websites and online magazines covering topics in career, travel, and lifestyle. She received her BA in psychology from Hunter College.

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