The Most Important Teamwork Skills

By Chris Kolmar - Nov. 13, 2020
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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 in applicants is attractive to a lot of jobs.

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 and not, 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 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:

  • 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:

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  • Listening skills

  • Being friendly

  • Respect

  • Email communication

  • Paying attention to body language

  • Understanding your audience

  • Accurately express your ideas

  • Asking questions when needed

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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Innovative. 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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:

  • Communication

  • Supportiveness

  • Rapport

  • Conflict Management

  • Delegating

  • Take the hassle out of your job search & get an offer faster
    Chris Kolmar


    Chris Kolmar

    Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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