In business, collaboration is an effective working practice where employees come together with a common purpose to contribute to projects for the company’s benefit. These efforts occur in real-time with great software tools and over longer periods with in-house meetings and shared workspaces in the cloud.
To brainstorm and problem-solve with team members, you need the tools and ability shared among different departments to focus on the task. Because every chain is only as strong as its weakest link, staff need the right conditions and refined skills to thrive.
Effective collaboration skills mean you are more likely to be included in projects, and while there, you will be a valuable team member. Work to master these skills and share them openly with your co-workers because, ultimately, you want everyone in the company to have a strong voice and equally contribute to the project.
Working alongside other employees to create and produce something is exciting and rewarding. Be a collaborative team member and give your all to the group. Here are six effective collaboration skills you can adopt in the workplace.
Skill #1: Communication
Working in a bubble doesn’t allow for outside influences, which means no communication. For a collaborative effort to work, there must be an open dialogue for people to share information and express themselves.
Innovation and growth work because team members discuss problems and work on solutions by sharing information. Some people are more vocal than others, but you should foster a safe environment where staff can voice their opinions and be heard.
Communication starts at the top, working its way through all levels of a company and includes:
Another good option is team collaboration software. This sophisticated platform helps team members to collaborate effectively and efficiently. Try using as many ways to communicate with the group, so everyone shares the same information and ideas freely.
Skill #2: Trust
There can be no real collaboration without trust in the group. This means feeling safe in a supportive environment and among relationships on the job. When team members trust each other, they are more likely to open up, take risks and expose vulnerabilities.
Building trust involves letting the team take on leadership and self-organize, so they create better harmony. You still need to give them clear roles and responsibilities with structure, so everyone knows what is required of them. The key is balance, so staff learns to rely on their ability and the skills of others.
Skill #3: Open Minded
Every team member comes with a different perspective, and when asked to work together on a project, they need to clear the slate and have an open mind. This allows for better collaboration because there are no biases and members are open to change and a new perspective.
Curiosity is key to being open-minded, so you must foster and encourage a courageous and creative environment. Hence, even those that are more resistant to change get involved. Set clear parameters and bring all ideas before anyone is discarded. Everyone can gain knowledge and contribute when all ideas can be heard, analyzed, criticized, and expanded upon.
Skill #4: Debate
To collaborate, voices need to be heard because real growth occurs when opposing views are hashed out for the team’s betterment. Debate is the driver of innovation, so group members must respectfully argue for their ideas.
The friendly, constructive debate should always be encouraged and, if needed, regulated so there are no unresolved conflicts during a collaborative effort. The goal is to have the best ideas brought forward and presented with a passion so they take precedence over less-than-good ideas as long as it is polite, productive and on task.
The debate can happen in a group setting in person, over a chat channel or any other communication tool.
Skill #5: Long Term Thinking
There is always a goal when you bring the best people to work together on a project. For collaboration to be effective, members must understand the bigger picture because it is not the individual that matters but the whole team and their shared efforts.
Be clear with the project’s vision and share that with all those involved. When collaborative members understand the scope and goals of the organization, they better connect with the broader purpose and are more interested in contributing in a more meaningful way.
Skill #6: Positivity
The grass is always greener where it is watered, and you will get better results by creating a positive environment for people to work. Positivity impacts all other skills and enhances:
Even through struggles and poor outcomes in a project, being positive helps you learn and grow as you strive to create and innovate, which will aid in future team projects.