How to Be More Collaborative
Demands of the modern market dictate the rules of engagement. It has become a trend that employees and management collaborate more frequently on all sorts of projects in order to meet certain standards and goals. Yet, not everyone is a good team player. If you are trying to find efficient ways of improving collaboration within your team, here are some tips and tricks you may find useful.
1) Understand the goals and get everyone on the same page. When it comes to team effort and collaborative team work, it is important that everyone pulls toward the same goal. If you have team members working on their own mini projects and each one of them has his own vision of the final goal, then your team is set for a failure. If you are a team leader, have everyone sit down and have a meeting where a joined goal or a couple of goals will be clearly defined. On the other hand, if you are only a team member just joining a project, then make sure you clearly understand the expected goal.
2) Delegate certain tasks to right people. Rather than trying to do everything on your own, assess the best team members to delegate certain tasks to. The essence of the collaborative work is the joined effort, hence sharing some of the duties with other team members is the right way to handle things.
3) Set and get expectations. In case you are a team leader, then set clear expectations for each of your team members. If you are only a team member, then make sure you understand clearly what is expected from you. Each member of a team needs to know the scope of his work, the number of hours he needs to dedicate to a specific project and some soft or hard deadline for either the whole project or specific milestones in case the project was split into pieces.
4) If needed, write down everyone’s role. While clearly defining expectations for everyone is a must, sometimes even writing things down on a board for everyone to have a reminder may be a good idea. Especially if you manage or work in a large team, such a step may be necessary in order to avoid any kind of duplicate efforts or have certain parts of the work forgotten.
5) Suggest tools for better communication. If you work in a team with a lot of remote members, then using some cloud tools that would help you optimize your team collaborative discussion is a right thing to do. Again, if you are just a team member, do not shy away from discussions and speak up about parts of the project where you believe you could contribute with some personal effort.
6) Expect consensus about conflicting topics. Sooner or later, some of your team members will conflict about various issues or topics, especially if you work with a larger group. Ideally, all such debates should be resolved with consensus. If you are one of those who has a conflicting opinion with other team members, try to put away emotions and present facts only.
7) Seek mediation for more serious issues or conflicts. In case you, or some other team members have serious disagreements about specific parts of the project, look for mediation. An impartial, 3rd party opinion can sometimes calm things down and get you and your team on the right track.
8) Hold productive and effective meetings. If involved in a large project, try to split it up into pieces and hold productive meetings for every milestone hit. Communicate directly the status of your work and everyone else’s work and determine whether or not your project is falling behind or you are right where needed regarding time effectiveness.
You have your own methods of improving collaboration in the workplace? We would appreciate your sharing them with us.