Working Effectively with Others in Teams

July 10, 2021

Today, I received my first vaccine dose. As a foreigner in Singapore, I am grateful for the opportunity to get vaccinated without any hassle. I'm especially thankful for the efficacy of Singapore's healthcare system.

2021 07 10

No one knew the full extent of Covid-19's seriousness in the early stages of the pandemic. I'm amazed at how quickly scientists were able to develop a vaccine. Two motivating factors come to mind: monetary gain and altruism.

Scientists who dedicate their lives to field research are reshaping the stereotypical image of the solitary researcher. In truth, modern science demands collaboration to solve complex challenges. I feel fortunate that these scientists have spent years studying mRNA, virology, and medicine.

Secondly, transitioning research into mass production involves the coordination of multiple groups. Infrastructure, significant funding, and logistical challenges all come into play, particularly when politics and government officials are involved.

I am deeply grateful to the frontline healthcare workers who operate under stressful conditions. The nurse who administered my vaccine was amazing; she greeted me warmly and calmly discussed potential side effects. This seamless experience speaks to the power of incredible teamwork.

What makes this even more remarkable is that I received the vaccine for free. Living in a region with strong policies and effective pandemic control, I recognize that my good fortune is more about luck than anything else. The devastation wrought by Covid-19 is not to be taken lightly, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to get vaccinated.

I cannot take this good fortune for granted and should contribute to society when opportunities arise. Effective collaboration in teams can make a positive impact. It starts with assembling the right team and empowering them to take on challenging tasks.

Some work cultures hinder teamwork and innovation, which makes cultural transformation difficult. I aim to foster a positive work environment by encouraging social bonds through lunches, after-work events, and team-building activities.

I don't need to be the smartest person in the room; if I am, it's time to invite smarter individuals or find another room. Whether it's professional networking, team building at work, or sustaining friendships in real life, the joy comes from meaningful connections.

Communication skills are also vital. Effective leaders should excel in writing, reading, and public speaking. I am taking this as an opportunity to improve my writing and speaking skills, writing for both personal and professional blogs, and speaking up in various settings.

Listening is equally important. I'm working on my ability to understand what people are saying and paraphrase it back to them.

Soft skills, or "soft power," are crucial in a professional setting where I can't exert authority over everyone. To gain trust, I need to treat my job as a team sport rather than isolated compartments of work. Being inclusive in decision-making makes others feel valued and heard.

The lockdown has increased my screen time, leading to social isolation and loneliness. Virtual networking has helped offset these feelings and even improved our collective productivity.

Volunteering serves a dual purpose: acknowledging human limitations and showing gratitude. We all have much to do and too little time to do it, but collaboration can go a long way. We don't have to go it alone; pooling resources and sharing credit can make the journey worthwhile.

Profile picture

Victor Leung, who blog about business, technology and personal development. Happy to connect on LinkedIn