Three Reasons Why Teamwork Matters

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··Three Reasons Why Teamwork Matters

Have you ever heard about the phrases “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships” (Michael Jordan), “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” (Helen Keller), or “There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others” (George Shinn)? What do you think is the connecting factor with all these inspirational quotations? Well, all of them emphasize of course the importance of teamwork.

If we look in the Oxford Dictionary, teamwork refers to the “combined action of a group, especially when effective and efficient”. I think everyone can agree that groups of people can achieve much greater things than individuals alone. But what makes a well-performing team and why is teamwork important? We will highlight below a few examples that play a pivotal role in a well-functioning team:

1. Heterogeneity of the Team

Working with team members that have different backgrounds can enhance team creativity. . Having people from different cultures, ages, educational backgrounds with distinct skills and personal traits result in a better-functioning and knowledgeable team. We all see the world differently. We all know things and possess skills that others don’t. Bringing these traits and values together create synergies which enhance the team performance, which in turn will lead to a better project outcome. According to a study from the management consultancy McKinsey, diversity in a company is an advantage, and not only in terms of working atmosphere, but also measured by the financial performance of the company. Diversity was measured by looking at the number of women in management positions and ethnically/culturally diverse individuals in the companies.

2. Communication

Without a doubt, efficient, transparent, and continuous communication is one key precondition for a successful team. Why? Because only through efficient and good communication ideas opinions and thoughts can be exchanged. And it is this intra-group exchange that usually lead to progress, motivation, and new great ideas and actions. By communicating well, your team can also avoid many misunderstandings, confusion, and unnecessarily wasted time. The importance of communication can also be seen in studies. In one study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Process in 2017, a group of researchers has found out that communication has a relationship with the performance of the team. Especially important factors were familiar face-to-face communication, quality (rather than quantity) of the communication and some specific communication forms, such as knowledge sharing and information elaboration.

So don’t forget to talk to your colleagues, exchange ideas, and ask questions when in doubt. It all pays off!

3. Encouraging Atmosphere

If you have ever worked in a team with a toxic atmosphere, then you know well how important a supportive working atmosphere is. [3] A place where everyone is valued and listened without being judged or ignored is something that every organization and company should aim at. All the members of the group should feel that they are appreciated and that their work and input for the common goal matters.

It is not that hard to make someone feels appreciated – you can start with small everyday deeds such as: “Thank you very much for your great work in that project, I really appreciate it!” or “Hey John, wonderful ideas for the upcoming customer meeting. Keep up the good work!”. These sorts of acts don’t only make others feel good, but also motivate them perform better and improve the team spirit. Give small compliments to your colleagues regularly and you will spread the good vibes in your team.

We at out our international and culturally rich team at 180 Degrees Consulting Hamburg strongly believe in these aforementioned values and encourage transparent communication and openness in everything we do. In order to maximize the social impact of our projects, it is important that our diverse teams work in an emphatic and encouraging manner. Respect and willingness to learn from each other are the basis for every successful project at 180 DC Hamburg.


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