What is the hardest part of teamwork

Ability to work in a team: 3 tips & 11 rules of conduct for functioning groups

You apply for a new job and it is in demand again: the ability to work in a team. When it comes to working life, you can't avoid team skills. But who is actually considered a team player, and which characteristics are relevant for this? We give you an overview of the most relevant rules of conduct, how you can show yourself to be able to work in a team at work and in everyday life.

Definition: What teamwork actually is

Definition: What teamwork actually is

There is no uniform definition for the concept of teamwork. Instead, it is an amalgamation of different personality traits based on your ability to cooperate. According to the English synonym of social or soft skills, the ability to work in a team describes your social competence to integrate yourself into living together with others.

The ability to work in a team is therefore made up of many individual characteristics, such as your level of empathy and communication. The willingness to accept criticism is also crucial for working and living in a group. Together, these characteristics shape your group performance.

11 rules of conduct in the team

The ability to work in a team is important in everyday and professional life. However, working in a group is not easy for everyone. You may be less talkative, but you can stay calm in a conflict. There is no one way to perfect teamwork. Instead, a good mix of the following properties is required.

Acceptance and equality

As part of a team, you have to accept your group members. That means not constantly criticizing your personal points of view. Just like yourself, all team members are entitled to their position and a right to their individual opinion. The be-all and end-all is therefore to be seen as equal to all people on a team.


Communication in teams is essential

Inevitably, as part of a team, you will communicate with the group members. Dealing with a common task can therefore work much better if you create a good communication culture. Above all, the polite and friendly approach makes work easier and supports a pleasant working atmosphere. Honesty and fairness are helpful characteristics for good communication. Here we show you how you can effectively implement your communication.


Solving a task in a team can sometimes be complicated. The responsibility that each individual member takes on is therefore important. Because teamwork also includes working constructively and conscientiously. Everyone must be able to rely on the competence of their group members. This means that everyone has to take responsibility for their own tasks.


In addition to responsibility, personal discipline also plays a major role. It is important for the reliability and productivity of a team. Work in the group can only function efficiently if all members meet deadlines and agreements.


In order to work in a team, it is an advantage to empathize with the emotional state of your team members. A certain degree of empathy is therefore also an advantage for teamwork. However, empathy is not the same for every person. Some have this natural instinct from the start, others have to learn it in the course of their lives. These 15 tips can help you to be more empathetic towards your fellow human beings.


Be aware that you too have a right to your own opinion. After all, teamwork lives from mutual exchange and sometimes from loud discussion. So trust in your abilities, because you are not part of the team for no reason. Your individual self-confidence also supports the strength of the group.

self reflection

In addition to a healthy dose of self-confidence, it may also be necessary to reflect on your competence and your position yourself. This is how you learn to fit into a group and that it is sometimes necessary to take yourself back and let others take precedence. Since the first step towards self-reflection is often the hardest, these tricks can help you.

Critical ability

Probably the most difficult component of teamwork is the ability to criticize. Nobody likes to be questioned in their opinion and yet it is sometimes necessary to move the work forward. So when you are able to work in a team, remember not to criticize others unjustifiably and to accept criticism yourself. Also make sure that you communicate in a friendly manner, because nobody likes to be offended. Criticism should always be constructive and not attack anyone in their personality.

Conflict culture

Since teamwork is shaped by different points of view, a discussion cannot always be prevented. The ability to work in a team here means cultivating a culture of debate. Letting your fellow human beings finish speaking and sometimes agreeing with them are important steps for your personal ability to work in a team.

Appreciation and willingness to compromise

Teamwork always creates the need to compromise with one another. Every now and then, this step can be difficult at work. Mutual appreciation can be the key to success here. Those who feel comfortable in a team will also be more willing to compromise.

goal in mind

As the saying goes, “A lot of cooks spoil the broth”, different opinions are sometimes difficult to reconcile. The aim of the work must therefore not be lost sight of. Teamwork is certainly not always the most efficient solution, but it combines individual views with an overarching goal.

Allocation of roles in the team

Not everyone takes on the same role in a team - there are different tasks to deal with. Employers therefore like to form teams based on personal strengths and weaknesses. Each group member has his or her position in the work process and is important for the end result. What roles are there and which role suits you?

  • Coordination: Your talent promotes the structure of teamwork. You concentrate on not losing sight of the big picture and the goal.
  • Creativity: You are the person with the innovative ideas. Your strengths lie in your imagination and your creative design.
  • Implementation: You try to put your colleagues' innovations into practice and make them come true. Your focus is primarily on the feasibility of the task.
  • Communication: You mediate between creation and implementation, as your strength lies in talking to other people. You are empathetic and can easily connect different viewpoints.
  • Management: You are the interface between your team and your superior. You represent the group to the outside world and enable constructive implementation. You have sufficient self-confidence, but you can also take criticism for group work.

Why is teamwork so relevant?

Why is teamwork so relevant?

Every now and then you sit together in a team and nothing good comes around. Instead of pursuing a productive idea, all group members seem to criticize one another. You ask yourself how efficient this group work really is. Why is teamwork so popular with employers?

Working in a group promotes individual resilience and broadens personal horizons. Communication can fix errors in the core that you might not have noticed on your own. When everyone on the team gives their best, it often creates something bigger. Companies therefore support the willingness to integrate into a group. It promotes the flexibility of the employees.

3 tips for teamwork in the application process

3 tips for teamwork in the application process

An applicant's ability to work in a team is particularly important for companies. Because communication with colleagues and superiors is omnipresent in everyday work. The ability to accept and implement criticism can also be determined through teamwork.

For these reasons, information on working in groups will be taken into account in your application. For example, hobbies like team sports are a good indicator of your ability to work in a team. But social engagement also shows that you care a lot about contact with other people.

Another indication of your ability to work in a team is your assessment in your job reference. Companies also like to test their soft skills in an assessment center. Often, tasks have to be solved in a small group. During this conversation, you will then be assessed by employees in your interpersonal dealings. Particular attention is paid to your communication and assertiveness. But the talent to cooperate with your colleagues is also assessed.

In addition to the practical exercise, the ability to work in a team also plays a role in the actual job interview. Sometimes your personal assessment of your ability to cooperate is asked. Some companies also expect suggestions for creating a pleasant working environment. So it is an advantage if you can assess your own team performance.

Prove your ability to work in a team

In everyday working life, a healthy mediocrity of independence and the ability to work in a team is particularly important. Some tasks have to be done alone, but others require a combination of the strengths of the team. It is then not always easy to hand over tasks and responsibilities to colleagues.

For many processes, however, working in teams offers great advantages, as everyone can concentrate on their personal strengths. In order to show your employer your ability to work in a team, you should above all recognize and appreciate the work of your colleagues. With this first step, an important foundation has been laid. Everyone works more productively and motivated when they can feel comfortable as part of a group.

It is also helpful to focus only on one role on the team. Perhaps you will usually be both coordinating and leading a group. Sometimes it is then not possible to meet all requirements. The key is to give things in and improve the result.

The working atmosphere is also important for the productivity of the group. You can also demonstrate your ability to work in a team by ensuring balance and motivation at work. For example, you support a colleague in his idea, although it has no direct advantage for you.

Train the ability to work in a team

You can improve your ability to work in a team with a few simple rules of conduct in everyday life. For example, the intercultural adaptability is also a great advantage for working in a team. Dealing with different cultures and traditions promotes personal tolerance.

Your flexibility is also part of your soft skills. Taking on responsibility spontaneously or standing up for other people in everyday life improves your ability to work in a team enormously. It also promotes your personal resilience in stressful situations. Keeping a clear head in hectic and nervous moments is a strong quality for a team.

Try to remember these values ​​in your everyday life. It is not always important to be right, sometimes the solution lies in empathy and understanding for those around you.

If that's not enough for you, there are also courses and training courses to support your own teamwork skills. Colleges and universities also offer opportunities to prepare for your working life in addition to your studies.

Soft skills in everyday life

The ability to work in a team is a factor that increases productivity in professional life. But soft skills also support peaceful coexistence in everyday private life. Social competence therefore also includes characteristics such as motivation and knowledge of human nature.

Some useful soft skills are often easier to learn even in everyday life. For example, many communicative people find it easy to give a presentation in front of large groups. Others are very organized and structured in their nature and transfer these characteristics to their work as well. Your time management can also help you as a talent in everyday life.

A motivated and positive attitude towards life is also not to be underestimated. Your personal balance can be a great asset when working in a team. With these tips and tricks you can ensure a good work-life balance.

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