Workplace Essentials


Teamwork is a huge part of professional life. Being able to work well with others and manage team projects is an essential employability skill that will enhance your career.

The Conference Board of Canada defines teamwork skills as the ability to work with others and contribute to projects.[1] They divide teamwork skills into two major categories:

Click on each skill to see the details

Process Conversations

Process conversations make teamwork more productive and less frustrating. They’re simple conversations where you discuss and agree how your team will function.

Process conversations are strengthened when the outcomes are documented and saved to the for later reference.

Strong process conversations answer questions such as:

At the end of your team process conversation, make sure to ask if there’s anything else: What else do we need to discuss?

The 5-Finger Vote

Sometimes a simple yes or no isn’t enough. The 5 finger vote gives useful nuance to discussions and speeds up decision-making.

Instead of asking yes/no or for/against, ask team members to vote with their fingers. The scale is:

Number of fingers Meaning
5 100% support the idea or action
4 Strongly agree
3 Slightly in favour
2 Mildly disagree
1 Strongly disagree
0 100% disagree

This method shows how strongly people feel, and can save time. If most people agree, or only mildly disagree, you may not have to discuss the topic, and can move on to the next item. Meetings become shorter, and productivity improves.


  Canadian Workplace Quiz 

  1. Conference Board of Canada, "Employability Skills," Last accessed March 2, 2020,


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Professional Business Practice by Lucinda Atwood is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.