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Back in the 1980s, an Italian neurophysiologist, Giacomo Rizzolatti with his team at the University of Parma, Italy, was planting electrodes in the prefrontal motor cortex of macaque monkeys to identify what neurons control which hand movements.
1. Collective Goal-Setting Often, tension happens when individuals claim personal credit for team successes (and avoid personal blame for any team shortcomings). Approaching teamwork from a point of cohesion eliminates the sense of ego inherent in this “blame game” or “credit game.” When setting collective goals, be clear about the outcomes you’re aiming for as a team and make sure the “we’re all in it together” mantra is embedded in all decisions. Everything that goes well or poorly as you work toward that goal is a result of each person’s collective contributions.
2. Role Clarification Effective teamwork recognizes the unique role every team member plays on the team. Make sure every member is equipped for success by assigning roles and responsibilities that cater to their unique strengths as part of the team. For instance, someone who’s more detail-oriented can keep the meeting minutes, while someone who loves to wrestle with big ideas can lead the brainstorming. It’s important to not pigeonhole team members here, however. If someone is interested in strengthening a new muscle, encourage mentorship across teammates. Perhaps the veteran project manager can take someone interested in project management under their wing, for instance.
3. Problem-Solving The best teamwork comes from a solutions-oriented mindset. Problem solving is a key skill every team member needs to ensure complications don’t harm morale or throw off a project entirely. Effective problem solving comes from team leadership, open communication, and creative critical thinking.
4. Interpersonal Relations This includes effective communication, constructive criticism and the general dynamics of how teams work amongst themselves. The more that colleagues feel comfortable around one another in the office, the more effectively they’ll work as a team. Encourage interpersonal, collaborative relationships across your organization by offering ways for employees to get involved, meet one another, and engage outside of a strictly business setting.HRDQ-U team building and development events help your employees understand their value both as individuals and team members, while equipping you with the tools and resources you need to improve teamwork.