Shirley's Articles / Teamwork and Collaboration

Teamwork Spells Triumph

In today’s business world, all – not most – positions require teamwork. The old days of going to work, doing your job, and never connecting with another human being are long gone. Whether through emails, phone calls, or face-to-face, you are required to work with others constantly, regardless of your physical work environment. You might be lucky enough to have a hard-wall office with a door, but it’s more likely you have a cubicle or even just a desk in an open space floor plan.

Your work probably involves projects where co-workers complete some of the stages. You also might have a regular task that is only part of a series, somewhat like the cars of a train. In this case, your ‘train car’ depends upon the ‘car’ before yours, and the ‘car’ after yours depends upon what you do. Always being part of a team can be frustrating sometimes, but here are some tips that can help you build your reputation as a team player in a team that focuses on results by creating a co-operative atmosphere:


ake the initiative. More specifically, take the initiative for ensuring that all your team members feel they are a necessary part of the team.


nergise your approach. Your enthusiasm can be the key to enhancing your team members’ contributions. Energy travels through a group the same way a cold or flu can. Before you know it, everyone is pitching in with a good attitude.


sk questions. If a team member seems slow, or if they aren’t participating the way you would expect, ask questions to see if all is well. The sluggishness might be no more than the person wanting to work on a different part of the project, but it may be something more serious.


ake and meet your goals. Although you want to be an integral part of your team, remember that you are the one responsible for creating your own niche and reaching your own professional career goals.


elcome change. One of the most common hardships we face in today’s busy world is the rate of change – change in policies, change in procedures, change in styles, change in personnel, change in responsibilities. The list goes on and on. Learn to welcome change instead of fearing it, and your team will appreciate your innovative attitude.


pen your eyes. Wake up and look around. Know what is going on with your team, both personally and professionally. Being friendly to your co-workers helps maintain the connections you all have with each other.


each out to others. Whether you need help to complete a task or you are offering help to someone else, never be embarrassed to speak up. The more you show others that you trust them, the more they will trust you and each other as well.


now your strengths and weaknesses. All of these tips listed suggest you jump right in and take on tasks and responsibilities that might be unfamiliar to you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, but also don’t take on duties that are completely foreign to you, either. You want to decrease confusion, not increase it.

As these tips suggest, a sort of synergy exists among team members. Be cheerful and enthusiastic, and your team will be full of energy too. By making everyone comfortable, trust is built and people are willing to step up. In other words, making a human connection with your team members makes the team work together more effectively.

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Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

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