The main considerations for working cooperatively
Working cooperatively with others requires not only the skills and knowledge needed for the task at hand, but skills and knowledge needed for working in a team.
To work effectively with others, it is important that you:
- communicate openly, honestly and at appropriate times
- be flexible in your approach
- be open to new ideas
- demonstrate acceptance of the values, beliefs and opinions of others
- be willing to contribute and fully participate in moving towards group goals
- use problem-solving skills
- recognise the unique skills and abilities of others
- acknowledge the contribution of others to group goals
- maintain the consistent approach agreed upon by your team, to uphold service standards.
Generally support teams are made up of a range of people, with unique skills and knowledge from varied backgrounds. Each team member will contribute to achieving the goal of meeting the needs of clients, but in a different way.
While team members will have some skills and knowledge in common, they will each bring something unique and have a different approach or style to participating in the group. For teams or work groups to be effective, members must value the contributions made by each group member and stay focused on the common goal.
You will have the following responsibilities as a member of a support team:
- developing the team leader’s confidence in your ability to work as a group member
- informing others of your intentions and actions
- discussing possible changes to plans
- discussing alternatives to previously agreed plans, where necessary
- drawing on combined team experience
- contributing to problem solving
- contributing your own skills and knowledge wherever possible
- valuing the contributions of others
- working in a manner consistent with team goals
- ensuring personal goals do not impede attainment of group goals.
Activity 3.1: Work group skills
Activity 3.2: Develop a cooperative work group
The importance of respecting individual differences
Respecting individual differences is one of the basic ground rules for working with others in a group. From this starting point, you can agree to disagree and work together towards a solution, on the understanding that all contributions to the group will be valued.
Respect for individual differences may be demonstrated in a number of ways, including:
- a willingness to ask for the views of others
- a willingness to listen
- a willingness to be accepting and non-judgemental of the views of others
- a willingness to compromise.