Team building can be the object of research, the goal behind activities in the workplace, or the conditions under which a project will be successful. Although team building has gained popularity over the years as a term, for many people it still remains unclear. That is why we will try to answer the two following questions: what is team building and why is it considered a soft skill?
First of all, team building is a skill that helps in maximizing a team’s efficiency in collaborative projects while assuring that the individual progress of each member is encouraged and recognized. This process includes many important aspects, such as listening actively to the rest of the team, developing trust among the members, and trying to achieve a common goal. All these aspects of true cooperation are clearly related to other soft skills, like interpersonal communication. For this reason, we regard team building as an important soft skill, which equips us with the ability to learn from others, engage in meaningful learning and work processes, and grow as an individual in a team.
Let’s explain how team building would actually look like in a workspace. Imagine all the employees working together on a project gathered in a meeting to brainstorm about a new product. If their soft skill of team building is developed, they would be able to not only express their own ideas but also discuss them with others without being interrupted, under pressure, or feeling the need to emphasize promoting their personal work. They would all probably come up with ways to enrich a general idea and then distribute the different tasks based on their individual strengths and weaknesses while being assisted and guided by their employer. In other words, they would be capable of working collectively. Who would not make progress when being in a team where they are valued and satisfied with their work?
At the same time, it is important to understand that team building is not only needed for teamwork. It is a skill that helps us adapt to different learning and working environments because we are aware of the importance of our work and we are willing to ask for guidance in order to continue learning and achieving. For this reason, in a society where productivity and efficiency are the main goals towards progress and prosperity, we should find ways to develop a skill that enhances not only our individual performance but also one of the people around us. In fact, there are simple ways to enhance this skill. For instance, as employers, we can enhance the development of team-building by paying attention to each employee and giving them opportunities to offer feedback about the work, in order for us to better cover their needs and improve the working environment. In the same way, as teachers, we can encourage our students to come up with ways in order for them to participate equally in a group project presentation.