Since you were small, teachers, coaches and others have emphasized the importance of teamwork. By now, the concept is well ingrained. Whether you love or hate team projects, there is no escaping them, and you have probably found a way to manage through teamwork chaos.
Generally, everyone brings talent to the team. Some members are good thinkers or planners. Some write well or are good at budgets. Some are expert at time management and can help the team meet required deadlines. There are also people who are expert at organization, documenting processes, or evaluating effectiveness. It makes sense that goals will be achieved more quickly if the needed tasks are assumed by the person whose skills match the task.
Teamwork also benefits from clear leadership. A team leader should be a good listener, a good communicator, a good motivator, and a good delegator. The team leader also needs to be a team player. Perhaps, most importantly, the team leader needs a “we,” rather than an “I” mentality.
Teamwork is almost inescapable in most organizations. If you love teamwork and are comfortable with it, you will be a great asset for your company or agency. On the other hand, if you dislike teamwork, you will need to find an acceptable way to participate and to help the team achieve its goals. Being labeled a team player is a good thing. Being labeled “the Lone Ranger” probably isn’t how you want to be identified by your colleagues or by your boss.
Teamwork is essential to success in most workplaces. Know your personal strengths, contribute appropriately, and do your full share of the work. Give credit where credit is due, and publicly acknowledge the team effort. At the same time, keep track of your individual contributions to the team and to the project. Include this information when writing an annual self-evaluation or for discussion during your annual performance review.