No single team member can collaborate by themselves, it requires a team of individuals who each have a voice and a valuable contribution. Each member should have the opportunity to excel both individually and as a team through cooperation from everyone involved. The only way to achieve that is through effective collaboration.
Here are a few ways to create stronger team connection whether you are a member, or a leader.
There’s a difference between listening to understand, and listening to prove your side. Effective collaboration across the board requires honest listening to understand and create a solution.
- As a Team Player: True listening includes giving feedback to confirm and clarify the information that was shared, and having a discussion in real time.
- As a Leader: Listen to all parties first before responding. Team members should feel heard, valued, and appreciated. It may take some time and creativity to work to bridge differing ideas into a workable solution that is beneficial for everyone.
A motivated and energized team is the strongest asset of any company. The best collaborators help others to work smart and work hard.
- As a Team Player: Bring positivity to every team you are a part of. Arrive to work well-rested, energetic, and ready to work together. Compliment the work of others and establish genuine relationships of value and concern for your teammates.
- As a Leader: The best leaders can bring inspiration and energy into any room by helping each member feel valued. Sincerely express appreciation for a job well done. When criticism is required, offer it thoughtfully and in the spirit of the importance of the work.
Brilliant ideas come when you least expect it, remaining open is crucial to building an atmosphere of trust where winning ideas can flourish.
- As a Team Player: Establish workplace relationships that allow others to be comfortable to share ideas, voice concerns, or ask questions when they are in your presence. Act as a sounding board of loyalty, honesty, and non-judgmental when hearing the opinions of others.
- As a Leader: Remaining open to new ideas empowers the entire team. Listening to concerns and ideas results in faster problem-solving, greater trust, and improved performance from all members of the team because they know their voices can be heard.
Get Rid of the Hierarchy
Of course we can’t suggest eliminating all job titles. However, it is crucial to be more concerned with solutions than titles and roles. Share information across the board, and listen to feedback from all members, regardless of status, title, or role.
- As a Team Player: Receive information with honesty and respect, don’t give in to office gossip, groups, or gripes. Look for solutions in all places, and be open to the thoughts and ideas of all others.
- As a Leader: Share information across the board without holding back. Being upfront, clear, and inclusive shows your team they matter enough to be told the truth. Give the same details to all members, regardless of company status.
Most adults spend more wakeful hours at work than they do anywhere else. Increased morale through entertainment can effect motivation and trust of all team members.
- As a Team Player: Invite co-workers to lunch, make note of birthdays, bring a candy dish to your office and maintain an open-door policy for informal conversation throughout the day.
- As a Leader: Bring members from different parts of any project together feel connected through appropriate camaraderie-building events. They don’t have to be elaborate or expensive to be effective.