From birth to old age, we are part of a team. Whether we would like to admit it or not, we cannot exist in life as an island. As a child, we come into the world relying on others to help care for us, teach us, and support us until we develop life skills on our own. As we grow we begin to rely on a set of friends and larger network of groups and organizations to help guide us. Even if it is reading some information on a website as you are now, we cannot go through life alone. This is the essence of the importance of Teamwork: everyone doing their job in order to create a whole better than its parts. In doing so, we need many skills that teamwork activities can provide us.
Beyond the journey through life, being supported by teamwork and the skills it teaches us, teamwork has many positive effects on youth and young people. This is especially true when engaged in team building activities and then translating the lessons learned from those activities into the team environment. Below are some positive effects of team work on youth and young people.
Being part of a team means that you have to verbalize many things. From giving instructions, to asking clarifying questions, to pointing out a different angle or idea on something; you have to talk. For youth and young adults, this can be especially difficult because the notion of expressing themselves and not knowing what reaction they will get can be frightening. Teamwork allows youths to practice this critical life skill in order to assert their needs within the team framework through life.
Improved Listening Skills
Listening is more than just hearing the words someone is speaking. Listening is an active process that has many parts. From keeping eyes on the speaker, to not fidgeting, to show respect, to feeding back what is heard, to show understanding of the message; listening takes practice to master. And when you can listen well, you can get further in life simply because you understand needs and people appreciate a good listener. In a team setting listening makes you more valuable because you understand the team’s needs to propose appropriate solutions. Whether in life or in a team environment, listening is a positive effect of teamwork.
Motivation is not an easy thing to muster. It comes from having goals and a desire to do something. And within a team, setting goals and the desired end result can help increase motivation. Thus, the process of learning to set goals and an end outcome is a skill that comes from teamwork. In doing so, motivation is increased for young people from participating in teamwork.
Other positive effects of teamwork include: