Teamwork makes the dream work, or at least that is how the old saying goes. In practice, teamwork can sometimes mean more work — especially when it comes to meeting a goal and performing a task up to par with expectations. Many times for group assignments, the work and responsibilities get split unevenly. This situation may sound familiar — one person would take the lead, others would sit by quietly and wait to be told to do something specific, and another may make promises and then not follow through.

To make a team work well, you need to have a strong team strategy from the get-go. Following these helpful tips can ensure that your team can make all of its goals without suffering interpersonal consequences along the way.

To work better as a team, follow these tips:

Create a group strategy during your first meeting as a team. Whether it is the start of a new assignment or your first day together, a strategy session is necessary. Identify your primary goals, agree on common language, and determine your timeline.

Make sure that everyone in the group has a chance to speak. Even if someone agrees with what already has been said, they need the chance to say so out loud. Ensuring that everyone has evenly allotted time to speak will ensure that no one is overlooked.

Create an accountability system to keep each other on track. Determine who is going to be responsible for what, and then determine what the proper protocol is if someone doesn’t meet their deadline.

Schedule plenty of meetings with the entire team present. Don’t hold partial meetings, unless sub-committees are determined to be necessary to complete the task. Keeping everyone engaged in the conversation at all times will ensure that the work is distributed evenly.

Having respect for one another is the most important factor that will determine the success of any team. As you begin working together, be open to ideas and be respectful of differing opinions. Working together can help you achieve so much more than you would be capable of doing on your own.

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