collaboration, team work, soft skills, working on a team
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 14 December 2016
Productive Me Productive Team
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Vivian Guo Phang
Branding Intern
San Diego

Everyone has experienced a bad group/team project. If you put a group of people together who all have different ideas, opinions, and personalities, you’re bound to clash somewhere along the way. But what if I told you that there actually is a ME in TEAM.

It’s just a little scrambled. With the right approach, you can unscramble yourself and put the most productive ME towards your TEAM. 

  1. What is your role

  2. What is your work ethic

  3. What is everyone’s personality and work ethic like

  4. Communication and Collaboration

  5. #Goals


What are you supposed to do in this group? How can your contribute? This could be assigned, determined within the group, or something you decide to take up yourself. Roles are important because they go hand in hand with accountability. Are you the type of person to lead a group and have everything exactly as you like? Or do you prefer to let somebody else handle all that business and you do your assigned job? This is all important in determining what role you like to take in a team. The biggest part of having a role is FOLLOWING THROUGH. Do what you’re supposed to do. Having a role is like having a guideline for what you should be doing, so all you have to do is JUST DO IT. Simple enough, right?  


Over the course of your years of schooling, I’m sure you’ve gotten an idea of what your work ethic is. Are you a procrastinator who is deadline-driven? (Admit it, most of you probably are) Are you someone who likes to do a little bit of work at a time over a course of longer period of time? What is your preferred work environment? Learning how you work best is essential to being productive! Living in this efficiency-driven world can be beneficial only if you know what your most efficient work environment is. Be sure to share your work ethic with your teammates so you can learn to adapt to each other. 


Learning everyone else’s personality and work ethic and how it meshes with yours is one of the biggest parts of team dynamic. If you aren’t the personality type to want to take the team lead, then learn who in the group is! Everyone also has their own personal work ethic, but having a team work ethic is equally as important. Work together to figure out what’s the best way to motivate each other and how to assign roles to each person. Also, motivate each other! Team spirit and dynamic isn't built solely on completing tasks and having a common goal, even though those are both important. 


Communicating is the absolute biggest aspect of teamwork. Communication and transparency with one another is how everyone is updated and able to progress as a team. Communication = fluidity. Communication also goes hand in hand with collaboration. For a team to succeed, it is important to hear everyone’s ideas and discuss which direction the team wants to take. Being able to express each team member’s unfinished work and giving constructive criticism helps create a less flawed product. If everyone collaborates throughout the project and negotiates how they want it, each team member should be satisfied when it is completed. 


Putting your best productive self out there is a major key in creating a successful team environment. Get to know your teammates, how they work, and try to compliment that. Figure out how your personalities and work ethics mesh together and each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Be yourself and open up. If you’re all comfortable with each other, the job will feel less like a chore and collaboration will be more interesting. Before you know it, your teammates will be like your friends and you’ll reach the ultimate team #goals.