Many perfection-oriented millennials today perceive working in teams to be an unnecessary compromise-infused hassle and find it more efficient to accomplish tasks on their own. But teamwork remains a vital channel for personal and relational growth on a multitude of fronts.
The smartest person in the room is the room.
I remember coming across this astonishing observation on the cover of David Weinberger’s 2012 book Too Big To Know and it just fits teamwork perfectly. Assuming the room represents a team, when working as part of any given team, the collective knowledge of the whole team exceeds the individual knowledge of any of its members (yes, even the smartest person in the room). This means that working with a group of individuals to solve an issue is likely to result in more informed decisions and better solutions for the problem than if you were to come up with a solution on your own.
There is no better way to hone your personality.
Think of working in a team as less of a challenge and more of an outstanding opportunity for you to sculpt your personality, tame your ego and develop valuable social skills, especially at a young age. With time, you will find out that disagreements are mostly a clash of perceptions rather than a clash of opinions and learn to accept and appreciate other people’s perspectives. And it is precisely these difficult situations that will turn you into a successful mediator and active problem-solver in your community.
The possibilities are endless!
Being part of a team means you’ve got a tremendous amount of resources, specializations and competencies in your hands. It is up to you to channel and make use of this bundle of possibilities in ways that are beneficial to both yourself and your team, without nevertheless prioritizing one over the other. And at the end of the day, it all depends on your outlook. If you enter a team with a predisposition to score points against your teammates, then you will hardly learn anything from your experience. Explore your team’s potential and always be open to other people’s ideas and keen to experiment with and capitalize on your team’s collective competency.