5 Ways to Improve Your 'Team Work'

One of the most important parts of our jobs working within the education sector to insure that we are working well as a team. This career path is not something you can do alone, you need a supportive and healthy team around you who are there to help you, support you and advise you when needed.

The truth is, we probably spend the same or even more time with our work teams rather than our families/friends - because we're together most of the day, most days. And, because of this, we need to make sure that we get along together. 

So, what are some ways that you can improve your team work and help to build a healthy, professional and supportive team where you can all rely on each other.

1) Build professional relationships
We always make sure to build professional relationships in our teams - even if the team members change. We get to the point where a simple look across the room lets us know what each other is thinking, what our next move is going to be. Allow time to socialise with each other - there's nothing better than a chat before and at the end of the day, check in with each other, find out how everyone's doing, if anyone has any worries.

2) Be a good leader / have a good leader
In every team, there's a leader, this is just the natural order of life. That leader will also have their own leader who have their own team and so on. Now, with a leader, you can still follow tip 1 and build a professional relationship with everyone in the team - including the leader. However, what you have to remember is the leader is a leader for a reason - the buck stops with them and because of this, they need to have rules and guidelines to follow. Now, a good leader is one who will recognise, cheer and empower their team as well as being the one to keep rules and guidelines running smoothly. Don't be a negative nancy, be a positive percy! Be a leader who your team are able to come to, someone that they trust and will feel supported by. 

3) Be clear about roles/responsibilities
Everyone likes to feel valued and part of the team, so be sure to give everyone a role/responsibility and be clear about this. Be clear about who is in charge of/leading which, what their role/responsibility consists of and how this is going to help everyone in the room. Being in charge of a role/responsibility will help your team members feel valued, they'll feel like you trust them with something big and on top of everything it will help them to stay motivated. 

4) Communication
To have a strong team you have to be sure that you are communicating well with each other. Have a sit down with your team and find out how everyone likes to communicate - some people might prefer to communicate via email but some people may prefer notes, to-do lists, face to face communication, and even ways like WhatsApp groups where everyone in the team can communicate effectively with each other at the same time. 

5) Solve issues quickly
In a small workspace with team members working closely together over a period of time, there is always going to be the possibility of conflict. Now, it's real important the conflict is dealt with quickly and in the best possible way so that everyone can go back to being friends again at the end of it. So how can you do this? Always ensure that everyone knows - before a conflict arises - that they know who to go to should they have an issue. The way you handle it will also be different with each team member - because everyone copes with and handles things differently and everyone responds differently to different types of support. The most important thing? Don't take sides and hear everyone out. Treat everyone the same and allow everyone the chance to speak their minds, find out what the issue is and involve everyone in the decision making of how this can be resolved and where to go from here. 

What are some ways you have to improve your 'team work' in the classroom?

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