The Bloomberg Report identifies the “ability to work collaboratively” as one of the more desired yet also more common skills among MBA graduates; While the GMAC report identifies the “ability to work in and build strong teams” among the top three performance traits across seven key industries.
While these reports stress the importance of teamwork and collaboration, less has been said about why this skill matters, how it can be demonstrated, or even developed.
Maggie Craddock, a professional executive coach and the author of Power Genes: Understanding Your Power Persona and How to Wield it at Work, shares her thoughts in a Harvard Business Review article, The Power of Teamwork.
Craddock writes, “The key to embodying this quality on the job … isn’t just thinking about how to motivate or advance others. It’s about experiencing situations with them that foster a spirit of trust.”
She gives an example of a group of 15 women she coached for a span of six months. During this time, the women became aware of each other’s personality and professional work styles. As they began to role-play situations such as dealing with a demanding boss or a difficult subordinate, they started to recognize each other’s career challenges and became more deeply engaged with the group.
“Their collective intuition for giving each other advice on how to approach tricky situations evolved at an amazing pace,” explains Craddock.
By sharing each other’s perspectives in a positive and supportive atmosphere, the women were able to open each other’s eyes to approaches they might not have considered otherwise. This inspired a sense of trust helping to draw the best out of the group.
At Limestone College, students earning an MBA degree will have the chance to learn more about teamwork and collaboration in BA501 Group Dynamics and BA601 Group Dynamics II. These courses help students build an understanding of the fundamental theory of teamwork and learn to articulate the issues surrounding teamwork. Students will also learn how collaboration can be used to increase performance and productivity while considering how different management skills and techniques affect group dynamics.