Teamwork. A word that people like to throw around, but what does teamwork really mean?
There is a variety of definitions, but why is it so hard to establish one? I think it’s difficult because teamwork comes with many facets. Being in AIESEC, I defined the most important parts about teamwork — relationships, cooperation and leadership.
Growing up I had the deep belief that teamwork is something that distinguishes me, that I am a good team player. I kept that belief but my perception of teamwork changed as I got older. Being a shy kid I always tried my best to not be the centre of attention, especially when thrown into a group of people I didn’t knew before. So in a team environment I would take the passive role as someone who is always agreeing to others and trying hard to not be destructive in any way.
So how did my understanding of teamwork develop by joining AIESEC?
Being a member of AIESEC put me in a whole variety of team experiences. Starting with being team member I realised that being good friends with everyone doesn’t necessarily lead to good results. You need to make sure that every member still knows their responsibilities and nobody neglects their duties so that the consequences won’t be that bad.
Moving on to a team leader position I got to know the importance of gaining an understanding of every different team member and finding a way to include everyone in the team. You need to respect different personalities and find a common vision and goal that everyone can strive for. We try to cooperate, using our individual skills and providing constructive feedback, despite any personal conflict between the individuals. I was leading a group of different personalities but I would try my best to find common grounds by communicating and working together.
Working with a lot of different people and ideas I also realised that sometimes you need to take leadership of your team. Leaving behind ideas just to avoid hurting someone’s feelings can lead to a disadvantage for the whole team. If you are confident in your ideas and beliefs then take the ownership for the wellbeing of your team and the results you want to achieve
By putting me in various team experiences and giving me the chance to take the leadership role, AIESEC helped me to get a far better understanding of teamwork.
Written by Sebastian Berg