Together Everyone Achieves (Much) More

By Kelsey Barnes, Account Executive
“Two heads are better than one.”

“None of us is as smart as all of us.”

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

We’ve all heard these sayings before at some point or another in our lives, whether it was on our little league baseball team or in a group project at school. But how important is it to have the ability to work effectively in a group?

Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D., author of “150 Best Jobs for Your Skills,” says social skills now rank No. 1 among job skills in highest demand. By social skills he means persuasion, negotiation, social perceptiveness, instructing others, coordinating efforts and service orientation. These skills are all included in the core concept of teamwork.

Teamwork reminds me of a childhood game I used to play called Jenga. This game consists of blocks of wood stacked on top of each other to form one unit. When it’s your turn, you have to pull one block out without letting the unit fall.

When applying this to teamwork, you can imagine each block resembles a person holding a purpose within the unit. Without each person giving 100 percent, the unit will have holes in it and commonly lead to collapse.

Public relations is a field where teamwork is greatly used. It requires a large amount of communication, different roles and a variety of tasks in order to maintain the relationship between an organization and its public.  

It’s not easy to accomplish a goal when you have a group of people with different personalities, beliefs, backgrounds, skill sets, strengths and weaknesses. You need to not only work with these people, but also respect and communicate on a regular basis. Especially with large projects, you might have to spend quite a bit of time with your team.

I have always been on some kind of team ever since I was little. With my mom having put me on a T-ball team as soon as I could walk, playing sports full time in high school and being a public relations major, I have had some experience in the teamwork business.

Here are some helpful tips I have found very helpful when working in a team:
  • Set goals.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. (Even the bad stuff.)
  • Leave meetings with a plan.
  • Try to understand your teammates as people – everyone’s different.
  • Check in on a regular basis to see how things are going.
  • Give praise when deserved! (High fives work great.)
  • Stay positive. Negativity is like poison for teamwork.

As different as you may feel from your teammates at times, always remember that you have one thing in common: your goal!  

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