When solutions and breakthroughs depend on a team working together, each collaborator contributes to the outcome.
An outstanding collaborator can inspire and lead a team to excel at a higher level. An incompetent teammate can drag the whole team down. Becoming a master collaborator will help you in your personal and professional life!
The World Thrives On Collaboration
Globalization and changes in technology are reshaping the way we work.
Never before in history has collaboration been so important. We now work across departments, institutions, even countries to address challenges, boost efficiency, and discover innovative solutions.
Innovative products like the iPhone and Tesla cars come from individual geniuses. True or False?
Tips On Being A Better Collaborator
Being a collaborator is not as easy as it sounds, especially working in a team with diverse backgrounds.
Here are some ideas to be a collaborator people will WANT to work with:
Focus on goals
Concentrating on a shared goal will help your team focus. Make sure you have a clear understanding of your specific role in the collaborative commitment.
Clear communication is the bedrock for collaboration. Make sure you have engaged fully in conversations to understand challenges, resources, procedures, measurements, etc. When there's an issue, communicate before taking action.
Be supportive and encouraging
When someone on your team does something well, acknowledge it! When someone is struggling, offer encouragement. This positive energy will fuel your team.
Be open to feedback
A big ego can be a big problem. When you make a mistake, admit it. When you run out of solutions, ask for help. When you want other perspectives, ask. Collaborate with an open attitude, remembering that there's always room to improve.
Delays on one task can impact the whole plan. Make sure you meet every deadline and do your part to maintain a smooth workflow for your team.
Even if it seems that your team might have a star player, don't forget that each brick supports a building. Success belongs to the team, not just one contributor. Excellent collaborators value the contribution of every participant and honors their input.
This is particularly critical if you take the leadership role in a task. Rewarding contributors for their inputs will boost morale and keep participants motivated.
When a teammate, David suggests a new approach, what is an appropriate response?
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
― Helen Keller
How are your own skills as a collaborator? What are your strengths and where can you improve?
If you're not sure what opportunities you have, ask yourself: what feedback would past or current team members have for me?