Humans by nature are pack animals. We believe in strength in numbers, and in social interaction between other members of our species. Working towards a common goal is what led to the birth of civilization in general and history has several instances where it has proved the importance of teamwork time and again.
So what is the definition of teamwork? To borrow from the beautiful language of the people of France, it is esprit de corps. It is at its core a sense of immense pride and happiness in being part of a group of equals and striving towards a common goal.
The Importance of Teamwork
At various stages of life, be it as a student or as a working professional, we often find that we are lumped together for a group project. This is where the importance of being a team player shines through as we need to each pull our weights as the success of everyone is dependent on each individual performing well.
On the flip side, sometimes we have to pick up the slack for someone who cannot keep up and often have to share their workload and keep encouraging them because you win and lose as a team, and singling one individual out is going against the team spirit.
This is why most institutions focus quite heavily on team building activities. But the importance of team is not just limited to accomplishing tasks that are too difficult for a lone wolf, it also has a host of other benefits, some tangible while others are purely psychological.
In a Team Everyone is Equal
People tend to work well when they work with their peers. In a structure where there is a linear hierarchy, egos are bound to clash and fights often tend to break out when people don’t see each other eye to eye. This is one of the main reasons why teamwork in the workplace is such a big part of the modern corporate culture.
Team Work Promotes Diversity
Working as an individual we often tend to make ourselves closeted and surround ourselves with only a few people that we had been previously close to. Thus our friend circle fails to broaden and we find ourselves not exposed to various cultures and beliefs that different people across the world share.In a
In a team, we get to meet new people, make new friends and get to know and develop new ideas and thoughts that we would never have come across on our own.
Teams Promote a Sense of Achievement and Motivation
As humans our dedication to work waxes and wanes depending on our mental state, When working alone we often tend to fall victim to our lows and suffer bouts of non-productivity. However, as a member of a team you feel a sense of pride and achievement in your team mate’s success and often that is all the fuel we need to kick start our workflow again.
Team Members Get to Hone a Wide Skill Set
As a single person, we often get shoehorned into a certain activity and because of the time span it takes for one person to do a job, we often end up working only a certain portion of our skills on a job. Working in a team though eliminates this problem as we have to face a diverse scenario every day and exercise different areas of our skill set to help out fellow team members in achieving a common goal.
While these are all practical benefits of teamwork, there is a very definite positive effect that working as a team has on our mental state. Going back to an old proverb “United we stand, divided we fall” we realise that a team is more often than not a collective identity, a source of inspiration, strength, mental fortitude and courage.
While there are several examples of teamwork which have achieved the impossible simply because of their belief in each other, none epitomizes it better than the words of legendary Basketball player Phil Jackson
The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.
In the end, the synergy and cohesiveness of a consolidated human effort is something that encapsulates the word ‘team’.