Ratan Naval Tata, better known as Ratan Tata, is the former chairman of the Tata Group. He’s a popular Indian industrialist, who led his company to global success. Apart from his pioneering leadership qualities, Tata is a team player with a golden heart. After the nightmarish 26/11 attacks at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel, he made personal visits to some of the bereaved families of the employees. Throughout his professional life, Tata continued to set examples of effective teamwork. He became a successful leader because he was a powerful team player. He valued his employees as individuals as much as he valued working with them.

The Importance Of Effective Teamwork

Time and again, organizations stress the significance of working together as a team. Working as a team always has its own challenges. In most team settings, you have a team leader and a handful of team members who share the workload for the entire team. This reflects poorly on the team structure and culture. People don’t know how to work in a team because they’re unable to utilize the most valuable assets available—the human potential.

Effective teamwork can be exciting and empowering at the same time. When a team is working well, each member feels that they’re a part of something bigger than themselves. Every team member has basic needs that must be acknowledged and fulfilled. When they feel valued, they’ll automatically dedicate themselves towards the end goal. Therefore, successful teamwork is the cornerstone of a functioning and contributing team.

Keys To Successful Teamwork

The purpose of working together as a team is to create a foundation of support upon which employees can best utilize their talents and resources. In order to fulfill your intended role and improve organizational effectiveness, it’s critical for you to learn the ways of successful teamwork. The keys to successful teamwork are:

1. Understanding the Team’s Mission 

When there’s mutual agreement about the mission and purpose of the team, effective teamwork follows naturally. Team members must be fully aware of their expectations and objectives. When you set expectations, you hold yourself accountable for the outcomes and perform accordingly.

2. Defining Roles and Responsibilities 

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities prevent confusion while working together as a team. If you know what you’re responsible for, then you can work with better timelines and individual goals in mind. It’ll lead to increased productivity; a good indicator of successful teamwork.

3. Prioritizing Respectful Communication 

Do you feel frustrated when you can’t express yourself freely in group discussions? Working as a team means creating a safe space for varying viewpoints. You should encourage open debates and discussions because respectful communication lies at the heart of progress. Listen actively and speak respectfully for better and more effective teamwork.

4. Adapting to Working Styles

When different people operate together, there exists a potpourri of skills and personalities. Working as a team can get challenging. Harappa Education’s Managing Teamwork course will help you become comfortable with the different stages of team development. The Social Styles Model will help you get acquainted with the different types of working styles—crucial to successful teamwork.

5. Taking Reasonable Risks

 It’s often said that “if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more”. The flipside of working as a team includes unavoidable risks and disagreements among teammates. It isn’t necessarily a bad sign. You shouldn’t punish yourself or anybody else for thinking outside the box. Expect disagreement and appreciate it even if you don’t like it. It not only builds trust, but it also encourages your teammates to be innovative in their strategies.

6. Strive for Improvement 

A team that constantly strives for improvement is a team that progresses. The process of working as a team should prompt you to break down your goals and establish realistic milestones. It’s a more efficient way of tracking your progress. Hold review meetings, for example, to know what’s required that’ll help the team improve.


Just like Rome, teams can’t be built in a day. When in doubt, remember Ratan Tata’s words of wisdom for successful teamwork: “If you want to walk fast, walk alone. But if you want to walk far, walk together”.

Explore topics & skills such as What is Teamwork, Team Management, Examples of Teamwork, Meaning of Team Player & What are Managerial Skills from our Harappa Diaries section and manage teams effectively.

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