Importance of Teamwork
Importance of Teamwork (1:11)
“Communication is the crux of teamwork. So being able to listen to someone who’s not like you, or who knows something you don’t know, and use that information, it’s something you need to develop in yourself.”
Role models in order of appearance: Christine Barman, Susan Baxter, Josie Castro, Erica Ollmann Saphire, Margaret Simms, Ph.D., Anne Archer Dennington, and Renee Hill-Sweet.
1) The video says that communication is the “crux” of teamwork. The word “crux” means “the most important point.” How would you explain this to your team? Complete the sentence. Make sure you don’t leave any doubt as to just how important communication is to good teamwork! Communication is _____________________________________________________________.
2) The video explains that “teamwork is so important in the workplace today.” Working on teams now can help you prepare for teamwork in a future career. What is a career that interests you? How do you think teamwork might be important in this career?
3) A speaker in the video shares that good teamwork requires being able to listen to someone who is not like you or who knows something you don’t know. Do you agree that it’s important to listen to opinions and ideas that are different from your own? Why do you think this?
4) In the video, listeners learn that team members must be able to solve conflicts, or disagreements, without hurt feelings. Imagine working on a team science project. The team’s topic is water pollution. Right away, the team has a problem:
- Two team members think the team should focus only on the effect of oil spills on animal and plant life.
- The other two team members think the team should focus only on the safety of drinking water.
What is the first step you would take to resolve this disagreement?
5) Communication is the way we express or exchange information, ideas, thoughts, and feelings. How do you communicate when it comes to teamwork? Read each of the following statements about your teamwork communication skills and decide if you agree, are not sure, or disagree with them.
- I can explain my own opinions and ideas.
- I am comfortable giving suggestions.
- I am comfortable asking questions if I don’t understand something.
- I listen to and respect others’ ideas.
- If I disagree with someone, I am usually polite.
Think of at least one way that you can improve your teamwork communication skills.
6) Experts say that some problems are too difficult for just one person to solve. Imagine that you’re applying for a job with an organization that protects endangered species. The director stresses the importance in this job of working as a team. How would you describe your ability to work on a team?
7) In many companies, knowing how to work as a team is important. What is a team experience you’ve had? Describe it.
Which of the following teamwork skills are you most comfortable with? Rank them in order from 1 to 5, with 1 being your strongest skill.
- Resolving Conflict
- Respecting Differences
8) The video compares teamwork to a pie: “We all have to take our little slice of the pie and bring it together to make the project work.” How do you think teamwork is like the slices of a pie?
Teamwork is so important in the workplace today. There is, to my knowledge, no area that you work where you’re a self-contributor. You really have to work with others as a team.
Communication is the crux of teamwork. So being able to listen to someone who’s not like you, or who knows something you don’t know, and use that information, it’s something you need to develop in yourself.
You have to be able to resolve conflicts without belittling the other person. Because they’re still on your team. You have to do it in a way where the issue is resolved without any hurt feelings.
Understand that different people communicate in different ways, and different people receive information in different ways.
You have people with differing perspectives and differing strengths. And as a team, you’re able to do more.
We really do rely on everyone in the circle to kind of do their part and be responsible.
We all have to take our little slice of the pie and bring it together to make the project work.
Independent Learning Guide: This all-purpose guide can be used by educators, parents, and mentors to jumpstart a lively discussion about the importance of teamwork.
Think back to when you were part of a team, maybe for a class project. Was it ever a challenge to listen to a team member who had ideas that were different from your own? Listen to the role models in this video to learn why, when it comes to teamwork, differences can be more valuable than similarities!
Classroom Lesson Plan: This step-by-step lesson plan is available to guide a more in-depth “before, during, and after” learning experience when viewing the video with students. This lesson plan is also suitable for use in after-school programs and other educational settings.
Use Empowerment Activities as a fun way to reinforce the video topic and build community with your students.
Related Empowerment Activities:
Fun Page Activity: This activity helps you learn what good teamwork takes, including being able to convince people to agree with you!