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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds This week, we’ve been focusing on setting up a business. One of the issues we raised is the importance of having the right people involved in the business. To be effective at dealing with people, among the key skills you need are the ability to work within a team and the ability to communicate effectively. Why is being able to work in a team important? We asked a number of business-people for their views. A business will only succeed if it has effective teams within it, each of which is playing a different role in order to make the whole business succeed.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 seconds And you as a member of the business may well be a member of several teams within it, helping to put the whole organisation together. An individual that can demonstrate a good mindset towards teamwork gives themselves the best opportunity to develop and grow in this organisation, be it here within the UK or globally all over the world. The key skill sets that I look for when I’m recruiting within finance are teamwork, the ability to culturally fit within the company, because each company’s different and you need the right person to work within your team. From research into teamwork, we know a number of elements make a good team player. These include the ability to share ideas with others.

Skip to 1 minute and 23 seconds By brainstorming together and working with peers, we can be more creative and find innovative ways to solve problems. Use a team structure to meet performance objectives. By putting a team together and allocating tasks to an individual’s strengths, we can work more effectively. A football team consisting of 11 Wayne Rooneys would probably not win many matches. Generally, teams work better if they are made up of a range of skills and talents. Value the contribution of other team members. By showing appreciation of others and giving them encouragement, it motivates them and helps their development. This works both ways. You too may have developed skills and knowledge due to the support you have received in a team.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds Good communication underpins teamworking. Again, we asked those in business for their views. I think it’s been very clear in what people are saying to pick the right channels. So in this day and age, it’s so easy to just fall into emails and sending lots of information. And really, it’s about building personal relationships, talking to people, listening, as well– and I think particularly when it comes to finance, if you were to speak to people across the business and say, what area would you like to know more about or what’s the area that you perhaps don’t feel as comfortable– finance, numbers, commercial– that might be something which people are looking for.

Skip to 2 minutes and 50 seconds So a person that can explain that in clear terms and really help people to develop their skills, that’s going to be important when communicating as a member of the finance team. The people that I have working with me should be able to talk to the chief executive, should be able to talk to the people who deliver brand and marketing elements, but also need to be able to talk to suppliers. They need to be able to manage their relationship with all of these people to support them, grow them, challenge within the business. Communication is obviously a two-way street. So part of it is talking, obviously, or disseminating information. But the other part of it is also listening.

Skip to 3 minutes and 29 seconds And there’s clearly a difference between listening and merely hearing. So it’s all about being an active communicator, whether that be speaking or listening, and being able to respond to the information in an appropriate way. Simple things, such as making eye contact, using gestures, remembering names, and smiling make a big difference in the way our communication skills are perceived. A good communicator is someone who is also able to ask for help. At times, we all need assistance. Knowing who to ask, when to ask, and how to ask for help can make all the difference to a successful outcome. Listen. One of the hardest skills in communicating is listening to others.

Skip to 4 minutes and 17 seconds Listening means keeping an open mind and taking on board alternate viewpoints before making a decision or negotiating a compromise. Empathise with others. Try putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. This will give you a better understanding of their concerns and fears. You’ll be better able, as a result, to persuade or influence others. Good communicators make great business people. This is because they can use negotiation, persuasion, empathy, listening, questioning, and asking for help to get the best out of themselves and out of others, too. So how can you demonstrate you have these skills and how can you develop them? Let’s start with teamwork. The chances are, you have worked within a team in some capacity.

Skip to 5 minutes and 13 seconds Think about projects you have worked on with other people. These could be as part of your studies, at work, at home, in sport, or in a group or society to which you belong. So with teamwork, you’re encouraged to be involved in group work for different modules throughout the course. And you’re working with different people that have different personalities. So you’re bringing into play your consideration skills. So you might be working with people that don’t have English as their first language. So if you’re then having to do a presentation, they may not be comfortable. So you have to be aware of people’s needs and requirements and adjust your own behaviour to reflect that.

Skip to 5 minutes and 49 seconds For communication, think about examples where you have communicated in different styles. You may have done a formal presentation, answered or asked questions in class, or communicated with the public at work or in a volunteering role. Communication skills have been really important on my placement year, because you have to communicate with a wide variety of people all the time. And that was something that I did really develop over my placement year, learning to communicate on a professional level with a variety of different people, both people within the company I was in and clients we were working for, as well. Why not complete your skills portfolio to evidence your skill set for teamworking and communication?

Skip to 6 minutes and 32 seconds If you find any gaps, think of opportunities you could take to get the extra experience you need.

Key skills: teamwork and communication

In this video Alice considers the importance of teamwork and effective communication within any successful business or organisation.

For anyone involved in the financial aspects of a business, the ability to work with people is just as important as the ability to compile a spreadsheet.

Alice is joined by a range of people working across a variety of organisations. They explain the roles teamwork and communication have played in their own careers and how they have developed their skills in these areas.

Skills review

After watching the video take some time to complete the skills portfolio we introduced at the beginning of the week. What examples can you give of your experience working within a team and communicating effectively? If you find any gaps, think of opportunities you could take to get extra experience.

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This video is from the free online course:

The Importance of Money in Business

University of Leeds