This winter I've had an increasing number of requests from teams, and for speaking services, around enhancing collaboration. Whether we are looking to work more effectively within our team, or outside of our teams, collaboration is a critical skillset.
As it relates to teams context, here's what I wrote in Teams365 #1124:
"In his book, Collaboration, Hansen cautions about collaborating in every instance. Consider the current opportunities for you to leverage collaboration and when it might be more appropriate for people to work on their own.
To make collaboration work most effectively consider:
What's the task at hand? What will success look like?
Are we all clear on the end result and what that looks like?
Are we all clear on roles and how they intersect?
Are we each in the right role, leveraging our talents and strengths?
How does my contribution feed into or impact others on the team?
What checkpoints do we have to come together and discuss progress?
What will we do if things go off-kilter?
What else do we need?"
One of the more specific areas of collaboration is in co-facilitation or partnering to lead virtual calls. This is an area I regularly work to support professionals in. Her'es what I wrote in Team365 #568 about Roles and Co-Facilitation, which requires a huge amount of seamless collaboration:
Even the most seasoned of us as virtual facilitators, myself included, need support to create masterful facilitated experiences in the virtual realm. This post explores several supporting roles which can make the difference between a good and a masterful facilitated experience.
When considering the roll-out of a virtual program you will want to keep in mind:
1 What are all the moving parts - lecture, interactivity, breakouts?
2. What technology issues might people experience?
3. And of course, what the platform is. A bridgeline alone is often not as complicated as say a webinar platform with screen sharing, polls and breakouts.
Depending on what you are using you may want to have a co-facilitator who can take the lead on certain facilitated sessions, or a producer who will look after the technology end such as getting people on board, and also moving people into breakout configurations.
Regardless of whether it is a co-facilitator or producer you will want to:
Consider which roles each one of you will play throughout the session, and during different activities
Where are the major transition points where you may need to switch over control or presenter status - i.e. polls, breakouts?
What are the key points along the timeline you both need to be aware of - walk through the entire program and make sure you are both on the same page
What will you do if "technology" happens?
What are your requests of each other - for example, as a big picture person myself, I often ask my co-facilitator to help me keep an eye on the finer details such as numbers, details etc.
How will you have each other's back? Similar to what will you do if "technology" happens, this is about considering how you will support each other.
For more questions to ask yourself during co-facilitation, and how to prepare, please download this bonus digital chapter which accompanied my first book Effective Group Coaching on Co-facilitation. I hope that you enjoy it!"
What are the opportunities for enhanced collaboration in your team? What conversations are important to have BEFORE and DURING the work?
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Wanting to grow your own virtual facilitation skills? Consider joining me this spring for either the Five week Virtual Facilitation Skills Essentials or Intensive programs Click here for more info about the longer Intensive (15 hours) or click here for the shorter Essentials (5 weeks).