Today I’d like to introduce you to the three main things I have learned during the last year in Proakatemia (the entrepreneurship unit of Tampere University of Applied Sciences), where learning is very individual and every single student follows their own path.

1. Everyday you learn something new, especially how different team members work.
Each team member has unique experiences, point of views, knowledge and opinions to contribute. In fact,
the more that a team can bring out divergent points of view, that are thoughtfully presented and supported
with facts as well as opinions, the better. A good team always has a lot of different personalities, skills, and
knowledge. In that case, others will give you access almost infinite knowledge.

2. Goals are very important.
It is very important for the team to understand the goals and to be committed at attaining them. Clear goals
will enhance teamwork and clarify the team’s direction. Without a clear direction the team will not work in
the best possible way. It is therefore important to set goals, and a successful team always has clear goals.

3. All things start with communication.
No one can get in your head if you do not talk. People learn to understand each other by talking, so it’s very
important to talk – a lot. And when communication is open, honest, and respectful, people feel free to
express their thoughts, opinions, and potential solutions to problems. You also need to be able to listen to
others, openly, and without judgment. And when the communication is working, team members ask
questions for clarity and spend their thought time listening deeply rather than forming rebuttals while their
coworker is speaking.

All these three things are very important in teamwork, but also in all other sectors in personal life. When
you follow these three tips, you can not go with your team “in the woods” (a Finnish saying for “fail”). In a nutshell: be ready to learn something new every day, especially from other people. Try to set clear goals regularly, and communicate open mindly with a lot of other poeple.

“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs

– Riku Mäki, a student at Proakatemia