What is Teamwork?

Something worth building!

What is Teamwork?

Something worth building!

What is teamwork? That’s a good question and there are many ways to answer it! We offered a couple of suggestions in our article: define teamwork, beginning with an elementary dictionary definition. At its simplest, teamwork could be defined as:

Co-operation between those who are working on a task.

But anyone who has ever tried to build a better team would know that such an answer is rather simplistic! Which is why we then suggested the best way to manage teamwork is to encourage your team to define it for themselves.

This led us to a much more useful definition. So what is teamwork? It’s:

When a group of people work together cohesively, towards a common goal, creating a positive working atmosphere, and supporting each other to combine individual strengths to enhance team performance.

It’s obvious from this definition that there can be many benefits of teamwork, which is something we explored further in our article: why is teamwork important? Indeed, the value of properly managed teamwork is something we address in our numerous articles on teams. And in our popular team-building resources.

But teamwork doesn’t just happen – it needs to be built! Below you’ll find some links to specific pages on the site which will help you answer the question: what is teamwork. And help you build a better team.

What is teamwork?

It is the kind of work that teams are best configured to do. It is work that blends individual strengths so that they complement each other, and in doing so brings people together with a sense of camaraderie and shared vision so that their strengths are applied in a common direction towards meaningful goals. So here are three tips to help you build teamwork:

  • Align and blend strengths of individuals so that they complement each other
  • Align people’s sense of togetherness with a vision of where you are going
  • Align strengths with good teamwork in a common direction towards meaningful goals

So what is teamwork? According to Andrew Carnegie, it’s:

… the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.

Whether you’re a team leader, team trainer or a student of teamwork, it’s worth visiting our teamwork resources page. There you’ll find some very useful links to further reading on teams and teamwork. And students will find some useful links on our ‘Why is Teamworking Important? page.

What is teamwork? Something worth building!

So what is our take on teamwork? We think one answer can be found in our own STAR Team Model.

What is Teamwork?

STAR Team Model

This model brings together several popular teamwork theories. It helps team leaders manage the stages of team development whilst understanding the impact of other teams, both within and outside of the organisation. It encourages the alignment of individual strengths with teamwork, in order to achieve meaningful results.

Effective teamwork in the workplace happens when:

  • Individuals flourish as they use and develop their Strengths. This is a focus on individual strengths and identifying where an individual’s best contribution can be made.
  • People come together building relationships and as they work together well results in effective Teamwork.
  • When individual strengths and teamwork come together in pursuit of meaningful goals then performance starts to flow naturally and Results that are meaningful and rewarding to the team are achieved.

If you do have the time to read more on this topic, you might want to see our range of Teamwork Articles.

Building better teams

Teams e-guidesIf you want to put our teamwork concept into action, you’ll find more information and a wealth of practical resources, in our colossal Team Building Bundle.

Containing 240 pages and 50 tools, these are the 8 key guides we recommend to help you do more than define teamwork, build it!

Why is Teamwork Important
Build a Better Team
The Problems with Teams
Team Health Check
Team Building Exercises
Leading with Style and Focus
What’s the Problem?
Making Better Decisions

Looking for more teams resources?

Try our great value e-guides

These are fantastic little e-books, very thorough, easy to follow

We’ve used [the guides] as support tools for learners on our talent management programmes which has saved me a lot of time and a lot of money. I’d definitely recommend them.

Kieleigh - United Kingdom



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