How to define working together

It’s one thing to define working together, and it’s another to define it in a way that it will work. Although the English language has some excellent definitions of working together / teamwork, the French have an even better one: esprit de corps. This phrase is roughly translated to a sense of unity and enthusiasm for a shared responsibility or interest. With this grand French definition in mind, we will then define working together as the oil that makes the team work well.

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People working together towards a goal

When we talk about working together, it’s usually in the context of a group of people working together towards a goal. You could argue that a team worked well when they have reached their goal. However, achieving the goal is not the sole determinant of a successful team. How this team reached their goal and what impression they left on each other is just as vital. Let’s take a look at an example: Three organizations are helping the homeless in their respective cities and want to set up partnerships between the three countries to better share strategies and advice. After three weeks of broken discussions (and some misunderstandings due to cultural differences), the partnerships were created. However, the arduous process of setting up these partnerships eventually resulted in a weak and suspicious relationship between the three organizations. The example above demonstrates that although the organizations managed to set up their partnerships, the fact that they couldn’t work together effectively resulted in a weak working relationship.


Why is it important?

This may seem like an obvious question with an obvious answer. But there are other hidden benefits of effective teamwork than just reaching your goal. Synergy. The sum is greater than its parts. When people work together effectively, they are often able to produce something more significant than on their own. When more people are involved, a bigger pool of ideas is generated. Different points of view lead to a broader source of solutions. Together, the team can determine which one is most effective. Self-boost. Humans are social animals. We like being around other people, especially when we feel like we belong. The same effect is seen in teams. When people feel comfortable in a team, they experience heightened confidence, they communicate more freely, and they feel important and heard. Healthy competition. Working together in a group motivates everyone to be at the top of their game, ease tensions, and create a sense of community. Most of all, this increased competition often leads to innovation. People will try and think as creatively as possible to reach a solution. A sense of achievement. Team members will feel a sense of accomplishment when a team happily reached their goal. This increased confidence can have spillover effects into other parts of our lives. Have a big date coming up? Your achievements with your team can help you give that extra boost of self-confidence. Sharing expertise. Learning, learning, and more learning. Every team member brings their strengths and skills to the table. This doesn’t only help a team reach their goal, but team members can learn from each other.