Historically, research has been placed on the burden of an individual’s shoulders to bear the work of a complex experiment. More recently, though, scholars and stakeholders have begun to recognize the benefits of working together as a team towards a common goal.
With multiple perspectives approaching the same problem, a bigger picture is able to be seen.
While there are many advantages to teamwork, there are also challenges that have to be overcome to maintain team goals, particularly when you are leading the research project. Being a leader isn’t solely about dictating job responsibilities and controlling deadlines. It requires comprehension of human nature, understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of your team, and knowing how to include all of those puzzle pieces to create a complete, efficient, and successful outcome.
Advantages of Teamwork in Research
As the leader of a team tasked with a common goal, you must be proactive in getting a true idea of the pros and cons that you and your team members will face as they work together, particularly if the project is a high-pressure subject or the team will be working long-term in close proximity. These are all factors that can contribute to conflict between team members that can delay or harm the project.
Keeping the team goals in mind, your job is to remind everyone of the advantages of teamwork in research and to use those advantages to their maximum ability. These positives that should be maximized on include:
● Finding each person’s strengths and using them advantageously
● Recognizing each person’s weaknesses in order to help cover these areas without dragging the team down
● Reminding everyone that they all have something they are bringing to the table and encouraging each person to contribute in team discussions
● Keeping regular tabs on the pulse of the team environment, the workload, each person’s stress level, and the upcoming deadlines
● Conducting regular meetings to have impactful discussions on how the project is going, potential obstacles that are on the horizon, the ability to make upcoming deadlines or problems that might be occurring, and team building for improved confidence and communication
● Reduced workload on one person by dividing and conquering the complex tasks that must be completed for the project’s successful outcome
● Continuing to keep the goal of the team in mind and working towards that target at all times
With these benefits, you as the team leader can guide your members to the best outcome possible.
Challenges to Watch For with Teamwork
As a leader, you should always focus on the positive attributes of your team and how they can benefit the goal. But it’s also important to recognize the challenges that come with leading a team so you can head potential problems off at the pass, such as:
● Conflicts of personality between team members; reminding them that they are all working towards a common goal, guiding team building, and separating problem personalities if they are detracting from the goal
● Too much team building and camaraderie that distracts members from the job; realigning them to their focus and redirecting their attention to the project during working hours
● Distractions that occur from too many ideas put on the table; reminding everyone that each person has valuable opinions and ideas but to give every idea validity would take too much time and expense, as the leader you’ll have to reduce these to the top legitimate ideas and work down
● Considerations regarding how to cite authorship on the published product; this is the cause of a lot of contention in teams and should be addressed and finalized before the work begins
● Delegation of duties; separating the workload based on each person’s strengths and attempting to evenly distribute tasks, both preferred and unpreferred
If you are able to recognize these challenges and prevent them from causing disruption to your team’s project, as well as maintain the morale of the whole team, you can keep focused on the goals and maximize the effectiveness of teamwork.
Impactio Can Help You Stay Focused
Your team brings a lot of good traits to your group, but if you don’t have the right tools to put together your finished product, the successful outcome might be out of reach. Impactio gives scholars everything they need to take their hard work and turn it into published, professional material for bigger impacts.
With Impactio, your team can store their information to communicate with each other, combine their research work into analytics reports easily. Impactio lets your team trace their work’s impact through citation indicators without hassle, so you and your team have more time to start your next project.