How to avoid the most common pitfalls of teamwork

How to avoid the most common pitfalls of teamwork

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It is not that easy to be part of a team, and a successful and smooth-running one at that. Some people tend to work better individually and exert less effort collectively. An article published recently on Quartz warns us of the most common problems to look out for when being part of a team – and how you can avoid them.

          • Overemphasizing abstract goals: Such goals may be uplifting, but when they are overestimated they might detract attention from more concrete, personal rewards. It is hard to really commit to something when you can’t find the personal benefits, separate from the company’s vision. Try to make sure that the collective goals align with the small, personal ones.
          • Underemphasizing roles: In order for a team to be successful you need a clear structure and well-defined interdependent which will best highlight the strengths of every person on the team. Everybody should be clear about what they have to do. Take some time to find the roles and structure that best fits your team.
          • Making too many rules: We are used to rules and they are indeed needed in order for us to interact as social beings. But trying to create rules for all possible situations is both time-consuming and ineffective. Instead, focus on only a few big rules that are most likely to make a difference in your team’s performance. The majority of these are related to how you share information, make decisions and resolve conflicts.
          • Ignoring reflection: People tend to judge the efficacy of their decisions based on whether or not the ultimate goal was achieved. But there is always room for improvement, whether you achieve success or not. It is important to make room for reflection more frequently, both when things are going well and when they’re not.
          • Failing to sell the change: You can be right but ultimately still be unsuccessful if you do not take your time and get everybody in the team on board with your vision. Even if your intuition is correct, willpower and charisma aren’t enough to make a change without working hard to get the rest of the team to buy into your new idea and offer you their collective support.
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Caroline Parker has a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from the University of Bucharest. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in the same field. She specializes in gender issues, ethnic minorities, and has a passion for literature, but she loves to find out more about any subject she comes across. When she is not busy with her studies, she is attending conferences, seeing plays which deal with contemporary issues in society, traveling, taking photos for her Instagram account, and watching beauty related vlogs. She aims to become a published writer and to pursue a Ph.D. is the field of gender studies.