The Value of Team Collaboration in the Workplace
One of the core skills in today’s workplace is collaboration. Collaboration allows us to harness the best of two or more individuals together. Collaboration allows us to:
- Leverage the best
- Make s
- ure we have the right people on board
- Harness talent
- Sometimes come to a better solution
In today’s business place there is often a mantra that “we need to collaborate more”. In fact, it can be very important to discern whether collaboration is in fact the best option. Sometimes collaboration is not necessary. It may be a good approach if:
- Multiple skillsets and perspectives are needed
- Input from different sources can be valuable
- Sustainability of the initiative rests on multiple players
- It is high stakes – important to get it right
- Many of these warrant the time and effort it takes to collaborate well
Key Questions to Consider:
What does collaboration currently look like?
What can collaboration look like?
What are the benefits of current collaboration? Future collaboration?
What do we each bring of value to this partnership?
When is collaboration not useful?
Successful collaboration depends on a number of ingredients:
- Having a shared, clear vision of what you want to create or end result
- Focus which is shared across those working on the task
- Complimentary skills
- On-going communication (face to face, email etc.)
- Clear roles to avoid duplication
Consider a project you are collaborating on:
What's working well? What's not?
What areas could use shoring up - vision, focus, skills, communication, roles?
What are you learning about collaboration?
Some of the skills which underpin successful collaboration, and can be enhanced at the individual and team levels include skill development in the areas of:
- Communication - including listening, verbal and non-verbal communication, asking powerful questions
- Decision making
- Relationship building
- The skill of influence
- Emotional Intelligence - self-management and relationship management
Collaboration requires that we work across differences. Leaders and team members can benefit from exploring their own unique styles, as well as developing a better understanding of their understanding of others, and how they may need to adapt in working more collaboratively.
“There are two questions that we have to ask ourselves. The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is ‘Who will go with me?’” – Howard Thurman
As leaders and teams collaboration is an essential skill set. Part of successful collaboration is knowing where we are going to ensure we are all going in the same direction. Another part of collaboration involves partnering, and building relationships with others who are going to go towards a shared vision with you.
How is collaboration important to you and your work this year?
CEO, Head Coach and Author
Potentials Realized | Group Coaching Essentials
Leadership | Teamwork | Coaching
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