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Teamwork: the superpower which lets you hit a home run

There’s no need to talk about the importance of teamwork and the magic of synergy – everybody’s heard a lot about that. But what’s really worth highlighting is real-life experience and the advice of professionals. The most striking example of real teamwork at TheSoul Publishing is our video specialists and video designers’ day-to-day collaboration. We want to share with you some first-hand advice and personal experiences from people who have completed dozens of diverse team projects.

But first, let us remind you who our video specialists and video designers at TheSoul Publishing are, and why their tips are valuable.

Video designer

Video operator? Videographer? Yes and no. A video designer is not just a person who shoots a video on a camera according to someone’s script. They’re also a creator, because their daily responsibilities include:

  • Thinking through the presentation of ideas and shooting individual short videos;

  • Editing these individual short videos;

  • Actively resolving any issues that arise during the production of the video;

  • Playing an active part in the development of video production for the whole project.

Not just about shooting videos, is it?

Video specialist

Actress / actor? Also, both yes and no. A video specialist is a real specialist who also participates in video production as the creative driving force. So what do video specialists do every day?

  • Find lots of different ideas and concepts for videos that fit the format of the project;

  • Develop the presentation of the idea together with the video designer;

  • Take part in on-screen filming (for humorous and music-related videos);

  • Compile lists of props that need to be purchased for upcoming videos;

  • Propose new ideas, experiments, improvements, and tests for new formats.

So this role involves more than just being an actor/actress.

Now you can better understand that our videos (5-Minute Crafts, 123 Go!, La La Life, etc.) are primarily the result of the teamwork between video specialists and video designers who are responsible for both the video’s idea and its production. Such impressive results (dozens of videos every day) wouldn’t be possible without excellent collaborative skills – that’s just a fact. That’s why we’ll take a look at our colleagues’ thoughts about teamwork, which we believe may inspire you and support you developing your own effective teamwork principles.

Two tricky questions, nine helpful tips, and only real-life experience

Three of our colleagues answered questions based on their experience of teamwork:

1. What if a teammate comes up with a crazy idea?

  • First and foremost, hear them out and discuss the idea (Stanislaw, Video Designer)

  • Trying is better than arguing! So try it out, but don’t spend too much time on it. You should remember that arguing can be much more time-consuming than even a brief attempt to realize it. And sometimes it can produce brilliant results! (Nataly, Video Specialist)

  • If you agree with the idea, then great – just do it. If you have some doubts and don’t agree it’s the right thing to do right now, you can use the "sandwich" method. This means basing your feedback on the principle “positive-negative-positive.” For example:

Positive: "... How did that come into your mind?! It sounds interesting! You know that I’m always ready to support your ideas…

Negative: ... But let's pause this idea for a while. Do you remember at the team meeting we talked about how topics with glue guns are our top videos right now? And we need to make hits, don’t we?

Positive: Let's prove ourselves as a team that can make hits first, then we’ll get together and discuss how to turn your cool idea into reality!"

(Mamura, Video Specialist)

2. Have you ever had to work closely with a person whose personality was significantly different?

  • All the time :) It’s incredible because it turns out to be the perfect balance of madness, speed, quality and creativity. (Nataly, Video Specialist)

  • I believe you can find a common language with any person and work together. It just takes time and patience. Daily meditation helps me. (Stanislaw, Video Designer)

  • Yeah, sure. You need to understand that it’s okay to be different from each other, and there’s nothing wrong with you or your partner. I use one (or all) of these strategies in this kind of situation:

  • Analyze the situation. Perhaps the other person is going through a difficult period in their life. Try to understand them, but don’t take anything personally.

  • Talk to your partner. I’m convinced that people (at TheSoul Publishing, for sure) are able to listen and hear each other. Therefore, prepare a conversation plan, identify the specific topics you want to discuss with examples, book a meeting room, and discuss everything honestly and openly.

  • This one’s applicable for extreme situations: notify your supervisor about any disagreements that have arisen and that you’re finding it difficult to work with your partner. Explain problems without emotion or complaining — just explain the facts and the possible consequences. (Mamura, Video Specialist)

3. Want three 3 top tips on how to develop effective teamwork? Well, we have 9 of them! This is a great checklist.

Nataly, Video Specialist:

  • You can always try two options! It’s important to remember that your opinion is not the only correct one. Knowing this removes a bunch of resentments and disputes.

  • No negativity. Take a deep breath, exhale, take 1-5 minutes to calm down, and then magic can happen; the problem no longer seems like such a disaster, and the team’s relationship doesn’t suffer.

  • Mutual help. I think the words "that’s not my job" are not suitable at all for teamwork.

Stanislaw, Video Designer:

  • Develop open communication with your partner and try to look positively at all problematic situations.

  • Find out each other’s strengths and take them into account, distribute small tasks between each other.

  • Plan your work: divide the project into stages (for example, planning and video editing, searching for ideas, writing a script) and schedule the time for each.

Mamura, Video Specialist:

  • Agree on what you may need your partner’s help with, and where you can assist them.

  • Work out the exact timing of things (we leave work at 18.00, and during the day have lunch for 30 minutes, breakfast for 15, a coffee break and rest for 15 minutes).

  • Be a good friend to your partner (bring them coffee, give them banana if they’re hungry, etc.) Then they’ll treat you the same way.

We hope this will inspire you to develop great teamwork. And by the way, if you want to be a part of our team,you’re always welcome to apply.

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