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Make Sure Your Team Isn’t Lacking These 4 Critical Skills

Great teamwork isn’t achieved by accident, but it’s certainly necessary for any organisation or endeavour. In the words of the industrialist Andrew Carnegie, ‘Teamwork is the ability to work together towards a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.’

Building a team by design requires a deep understanding of the range of skills necessary for its ongoing capacity. When a team is made up of individuals who share a similar skill set, blind spots can occur, ultimately leading to weaknesses.


While the key hard and soft skills necessary to a team’s momentum can differ between projects and industries, a number of skills are integral to any kind of endeavour.

  1. Communication: This is a foundational skill for effective teamwork. Without open, clear lines of communication, distrust and confusion can fester. While each member of the team may have varying degrees of natural communication skills, setting a tone of open, proactive communication can create space for opportunities to be identified, issues to be flagged and resolved, and the strength of the team to grow collaboratively.
  2. Time management: Ever been in a meeting that was meant to be an hour-long, only for it to hit three without any eyes on the clock? Creating a robust team environment where time is a valued resource is paramount to success. Some of your more creative thinkers may not have time management as a core skill, so acknowledge the value of respected and managed time. Assign time management as a team member’s responsibility to build structure and frameworks that protect the team’s ability to deliver.
  3. Problem-solving: Individuals with problem-solving skills don’t see problems as the end of the road. Instead, they use divergent and convergent thinking skills to look beyond the existing problem, identifying potential solutions and approaches. Problem-solvers are critical to the team’s success, bringing a level-headed approach to the unexpected issues that arise, as well as enabling a proactive way forward towards a solution.
  4. Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the objective analysis and evaluation of the facts in order to reach a judgement, decision or outcome. When critical thinking is employed, the outcomes that emerge from those processes can often be more informed and robust. ‘Groupthink’ can be an issue in teams that lack critical thinkers. In these instances, decisions that may be made by an enthused group without a critical thinking process can result in unchallenged or low-quality decisions. When a team has a number of players who are critical thinkers, they can help to stress-test ideas and solutions, identifying flaws that need to be addressed before launch.


Different team members will naturally offer different strengths and skills into the team’s mix. By understanding the skills necessary for your team’s success, you can set up a culture where these contributions are recognised, encouraged, and balanced. In order for the strength of your team to be realised, learning how to work together as a powerful unit is integral.

The Okavango River System provides water to approximately 1 million people throughout Northern Botswana. Red Leaf’s team navigated the Okavango in order to build a Virtual Adventure experience that thrusts teams right into the midst of an interconnected, interdependent ecosystem that changes every day.

In this Virtual Adventure, your team must work together to balance competing priorities under pressure, creating an opportunity to leverage the diversity of thought in order to achieve the team’s priorities and missions. Grow your team’s understanding of each other’s diverse skills in the heart of an unforgettable adventure.

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