Dimensions of Teamwork

Dimensions of Teamwork

In relation to teamwork there are four dimensions to take into account. The dimensions of teamwork are individual skills, team skills, productivity and morale. The foundation for any team begins with individual skills from there team skills are addressed and then the group will focus on productivity and morale.

Individual Skills

Each team member is going to bring individual skills to the team, most critical ones are active listening, feedback and adaptability. Active listening is important in any situation, home or work and consists of 13 steps (not necessarily in this order).

  1. Hear the message.
  2. Notice non-verbal signals.
  3. Ask questions if you don’t understand or need clarity.
  4. Don’t make judgements based on the speaker alone.
  5. Once you have the key information gauge your reactions.
  6. Suspend judgements and consider the information.
  7. Evaluate the message.
  8. Respond.
  9. Take notes.
  10. Listen now, report later.
  11. Develop a positive listening attitude.
  12. Be present (mentally and physically).
  13. Manage your own non-verbal behavior.

Giving and receiving feedback is an important type of communication which must be honest and productive. Feedback is used to improve performance and usually should be done face-to-face.

Giving Feedback Tips

  • Consider value to the person giving feedback to.
  • Follow set ground rules.
  • Be specific and use examples.
  • Be sensitive and consider the needs of the other person.
  • Provide feedback in a timely manner at an opportune time.
  • Be supportive.
  • Avoid advice giving (“you should”) and focus on the behavior that can be changed, not personality.
  • Own the feedback by using “I” statements.
  • Don’t give feedback impulsively rather provide well thought out feedback.

Receiving Feedback Tips

  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Be responsive and willing to hear the feedback.
  • Be accepting and don’t rush to deny, justify or explain your performance.
  • There is value in what is being said, be respectful.
  • If needed, ask for clarification.
  • Actively listen and focus on the meaning of the feedback.
  • Show that you are interested in receiving the feedback.
  • Be sincere and show a genuine interest in acting on the feedback.
  • Be thoughtful and try to understand the personal behavior leading to the feedback.

In a team environment adaptability requires a person to be willing and able to adapt to the readiness of the team and its members.

Team Skills

Each member of the team contributes to the team skills and there are certain elements that play a major role in teamwork. Formal and informal standards along with expectations for performance and behavior are required for a basis in managing conflict within the team. Team members are assigned roles based on their strengths. Decision making, problem solving and planning are essential. Collaboration and consensus is the primary goal which results in involvement of all team members and leads to clear, concise goals and action steps.


Productivity is the business of getting things done through having a clear mission, goals, articulated tasks and evaluating progress. Productivity works at its best when all members understand their duties and are held accountable. Tasks need to be related to the mission and should be assigned based on individual strengths.


Members within a team influence and are influenced by one another and it is important that everyone feels like they are valued and appreciated. Morale is vital, people want to feel needed, to belong and recognized for their contribution. Praise should be genuine and major milestones should be formally celebrated.