Teamwork makes the dream work…or does it?

Vasiliki Kotzampasidou Soft Skills
2 min read
child with plane wings on its shoulders

I recently started an internship under the Business Development department at CodexWorks Technologies. When I asked the CTO, George Monda, what makes his company stand out among their competitors, the first thing he said to me was, “Our team.” It sounded cliché at first, but when I spent more time discussing with him about their operational processes, reading some of their employees’ testimonials, and taking part in team meetings, I finally understood what he meant.

Teamwork is all about communication, empathy, and patience. I admit, it is difficult to work with both colleagues and customers who have differing perspectives and personalities from mine.

I will give you an example to make my point clear. Imagine working with a team that barely communicates – no one listens to each other’s suggestions and no compromises are given. A disaster, right?

Right, so what did I do to become a team player in order not to find myself in that position?

First, I learned how to communicate effectively with the members of the team. Keeping in touch with the rest of the members especially if something bothers me, speaking up, and explaining my point of view without leaving any question marks behind are habits I slowly formed. For instance, when I work on a project and I feel like I have been stuck on it for quite some time, I would text or talk to someone for help. In other cases, I would do the opposite. People around me need help too, so being an active listener to my colleagues and customers goes a long way to developing teamwork.

Takeaway: Communicate by opening up and listening well.

Secondly, I pushed myself to socialize and be more open-minded. Understanding and observing my colleagues’ and customers’ needs are important to see things from their perspective. Taking the time to talk with them and having meaningful conversations help me identify their intentions and enable me to find common ground.

Takeaway: Take the initiative to show empathy to others – it is not a sign of weakness. If anything, it can make teamwork an easier task if you are approachable.

Lastly, like I mentioned, it is difficult to work with people who conflict with your perspectives and personality, so patience is a key player for this aspect. Showing tolerance and patience helps me avoid conflicts. If I cannot look past the small differences among my colleagues and I, I will not be able to overcome the bigger challenges that we have to face as a team. In an IT industry, there are numerous technical and team conflicts that arise, so acting as a team player and being flexible allow me to overcome anything.

Takeaway: When you feel that you have reached your limits as an individual, remember that you have a team to rely on. Work together, look for a common goal, and call that success.

It is no doubt that teamwork affects the company’s results. Like in any other sector, conflicts can also happen in the IT industry. It is just up to the team on how to manage these issues. So yes, teamwork does make the dream work.

What are the other soft skills needed in a developer? Check out the Soft Skills series here.