Why is Working Together Important?
In the world we currently live in, working together is more important than ever before.
You’ve probably noticed people are talking more about ‘collaboration’ and ‘teamwork’, and how it can build businesses and profits.
That’s great, but what’s in it for you?
Recent studies show that team members benefit just as much as the businesses they work for.
According to American Psychologist’s “The Science of Teamwork”, working in a team can make you smarter, more creative, and more successful. It can unleash your potential to do better work, grow as a person, and be happier too.
And that’s just for starters. Here are all the unexpected ways working well with others is important for your career:
1. You achieve more in a team.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – African proverb
As individuals, we’re often limited by the edges of our own capabilities, beliefs or actions. Even if you could do more or achieve more, you are unlikely to do that on your own.
But if you team up with others, you have access to all sorts of diverse skills and ways of thinking.
“Each individual has unique gifts, and talents and skills,” says John J. Murphy, author of Pulling Together: 10 Rules for High-Performance Teamwork. “When we bring them to the table and share them for a common purpose, it can give companies a real competitive advantage.”
Going even deeper, if you work in a team that you value and feel a strong sense of belonging with, you’ll be more willing to go beyond your own boundaries and really stretch yourself for your teammates.
2. Being part of a great team makes you happier.
We can’t deny it – there’s something amazing about being part of a great team. You feel part of a tribe, and that can be very powerful.
In fact, working in a team can actually make you feel happier.
A survey by Atlassian of more than 1,000 team members across a range of industries found that when honest feedback, mutual respect, and personal openness were encouraged, team members were 80% more likely to report higher emotional well-being.
This makes you more productive too – one study suggests that happy employees are up to 20% more productive than unhappy employees.
3. Working together sparks new ideas.
Steve Jobs gets all the credit for Apple technology, but the truth is, without his team and their specialised skills and abilities, his innovations would still be ideas.
Sure, he was the thought-leader, but the product development and marketing effectiveness were only made possible by the team of experts behind his leadership.
And that’s almost always the case.
The thing is, in a strong team, you have individuals with unique perspectives, talents, and skills. When you bring every individual to the table and encourage them to contribute these skills and talents for a common purpose, the team will often come up with ideas beyond what individuals would have imagined on their own.
4. Working in a team helps you grow as an individual.
There may be no “I” in team, but the power of the team will make you better in ways you couldn’t achieve on your own.
By sharing information with other team members, you are cross training each other. You might discover new concepts from colleagues with different experiences, or more experience.
You can also learn from someone else’s mistakes, which helps you avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
Working in a team can also reveal more about yourself, your strengths and how you work. Feedback from a team member can highlight blind spots about your behaviours and strengths, which can make you a better team member, and ultimately a better person.
For example, you might discover you’re a great negotiator, but that you could benefit from listening more.
This kind of self-awareness is a key skill that employers are looking for in 2021, according to recent research by SEEK. Employers want people who can respond appropriately to the emotions of others.
5. You can do things faster.
When a group of individuals works together, compared to one person working alone, they can achieve results faster.
Workload sharing is one of the ways teamwork increases productivity. If you have less work than one of your colleagues, you could offer them help so that the project is completed faster.
6. Diversity unlocks winning ideas.
Working in a team gives you a whole range of different perspectives and beliefs. You may be working with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and with different levels of education. And it’s this diversity that can unlock winning innovations.
According to Frans Johansson, author of The Medici Effect, “Diversity is a well-documented pathway to unlocking new opportunities, overcoming new challenges, and gaining new insights.”
“Most people think success comes from surrounding yourself with others that are like you,” says Johansson. “But true success and breakthrough innovation involves discomfort. Discomfort pushes you to grow. This is where difference of experience, opinion, and perspective come in.”
A recent report from the consulting firm McKinsey & Company found teams made up of members from diverse backgrounds (gender, age, ethnicity, etc.) are more creative and perform better by up to 35% compared to more homogeneous teams.
7. Working with others reduces stress and burnout.
Working with others helps you share the load, but it’s about more than that. If you are part of a close, encouraging team and you have fun together, you’re happier and feel less stressed.
Also, your team members are the ones who are more likely to understand the demands and stress of completing work – more so than your managers. This means they can provide the emotional support you need to reduce burnout and stress.
8. Working together helps you take risks, and win.
It’s harder to take risks when you work alone. If your idea fails, it’s your neck on the line. And that can be scary!
But when you work in a team, you know you have the support of your colleagues to back you up in case of failure. Often, team members will rally each other to go after experimental ideas, even if they’re a bit riskier.
This is the stuff that leads to winning innovations, and can ultimately help you propel your career.
Over to you
Comedian Amy Poehler summed it up best when she said this:
“As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.”
Inspired? You should be!
Now, go forth and learn the skills to work better with your colleagues for FREE with Hodie app today!