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Four hands held together in collaboration

5 Effective Tips for Collaboration in The Workplace

By Managi Iwuoha
In October 28, 2019
On Blog
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Know this. The greatest feats are achieved through good collaboration. Undeniably, this word has made its way up the pyramid of corporate buzzwords. Yet, its continuous application and yield, where feasible, are very obvious.

Great things in business are never done by one person; they are done by a team of people –Steve Jobs

With the increasing skill set specialization today, collaboration and teamwork are unavoidably gaining a lot of traction in personal life and the workplace. Truth remains that collaboration is almost inherent – a second nature – that we don’t realize we are always doing it. Right now, I’m talking about conscious, good collaboration.

Organizations who see the relevance of this, place a lot of priority on collaborative skills as a factor, when hiring employees. A lot of employable individuals, including already absorbed professionals, possess good, confident, and independent solo performance skills, with above-average ratings. Sadly, not a good percentage of these persons are efficient in teams working collaboratively.

At Start Innovation hub we promote a good culture of collaboration amongst staff, talents, and startups. Only if startups knew how much milestones could be reached, goals that could be achieved, and problems that could be solved, through good collaboration.

Collaboration builds a good foundation for mutual respect, cooperation, learning, and good team spirit. It highlights the relevance of every skill set and harnesses individual strengths and collective effort toward achieving goals.

Now let’s talk about the 5 effective ways to foster good collaboration in the workplace.

5 Effective Tips for Collaboration in The Workplace

1. Communicate

“How was I supposed to know, that was what you meant?”
“You should have figured out what I was trying to say”

Those are very familiar sentences, and the situations that call for their use, are almost always showing up – they never seem to disappoint. Such situations are common in every union. Differences in personality have earned us varying perspectives on the same things. Communication is key to good collaboration. Being able to communicate your ideas requires clarity, simplicity, and of course your patience.

There could be, but I have never seen a successful leader, who is not good at communication. To be understood, yearn to understand. That is not necessarily a rule of thumb, but it makes it a lot easier. Have you ever witnessed an argument, where both parties have the same idea but do not understand they do –so, they keep going and going!

People don’t get the information you are trying to pass to them, not because they are dumb –apparently not because you are smarter. Find out what works for your team, how long are your meetings? Where do you have such meetings? What media do you use for sharing information? What collaborative tools help you work more efficiently as a team. Above all, Communicate!

2. Acknowledge

Let them know how great they are when they have earned it. Like you, every other person in your team contributes with their tasks, to make your objectives reachable; acknowledge them.

You can try saying things like; Good job John, I like it! I like Grace because she always beats her deadlines! And so on.

Acknowledgment may seem unnecessary, but it is really good for the team morale. It builds the team’s ego. It’s not so easy to keep doing what you’re doing if no one notices how much you are contributing. Everyone feels this way, sometimes. Take credit yourself, when you deserve it.

By every means, please do not micromanage your teammates. First, it’s bad for the esteem. You give the idea that they are not good enough for the task. Everyone on your team is because they possess specific skill sets that are relevant, remember that.

And second, it jeopardizes the work you are doing. What might seem to you as great output while micromanaging your team, might be poor compared to what you could get if you let team members have their mental space to work.

Understand that each team member could have their way of finishing tasks and meeting objectives, which might be different from yours. Because it is different, doesn’t mean it’s wrong; results are what you need.

3. Be Empathic

Emotions are an intrinsic part of human nature and being a work professional doesn’t make one outrun them. Understanding some other persons’ emotional and mental state, and showing some support can help not only prevent conflict, but also strengthen team bond and mutual respect.

Empathy is a show of Emotional intelligence; as it is called. A show of unusual fiery, irritation, or apathy could suggest that one is stressed, burned out, experiencing certain degrees of difficulty or frustration in the team or personally. In situations like this, don’t push it, rather show some support and a level of understanding. And maybe, continue when the person feels much better.

Encourage teammates regularly to share their pain points while working in the team, and respond proactively; this kind of doubles back to communication.

By all means, get things done, but DON’T hurt your teammates to do that. Understand that there is always a personal space, RESPECT it. Know when and where to say the right things.

4. Understand Team Objectives

Well, what would be the point, if one doesn’t understand the team objectives? To add some good value to your team, you must understand its objectives.

When the objectives are not understood, members set and work on tasks not relevant to achieving the team goals – so, no results. This could bring frustrations, and cause team members to abandon team objectives and pursue personal goals.

When objectives are clear and understood, they are achievable. Understand your team objectives, know the deadlines, set measurable key results, develop micro-tasks, and get to work.

5. Stay Honest

Honesty is a virtue, they say. I do agree as much as you’d do. To build trust among members of your team, you must have an unwavering culture of honesty. Be straightforward! Let your word be your bond.

Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weakness, and their concerns without fear of reprisal. – Patrick Lencioni

For good and healthy collaboration, there should be no motives other than achieving the team objectives. Communicate intentions clearly. Don’t get shady and shifty on your teammates.

Be reliable. Show that you can always be counted on to deliver, and within the deadline.

Summary

Collaboration aside its roles in the achieving of organization goals, it facilitates learning and bolsters relationships between departments in the organization. Organizations with a culture of collaboration and values in staff learning and development are more successful and have more engagement.

Start Innovation Hub has an excellent all-in-one functional workspace and incubator, that supports and promotes collaboration amongst tech talents and startups, in Uyo, Nigeria. Visit us today!

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Managi Iwuoha is a content writer, content marketer, and the community engagement officer at Start Innovation Hub. He writes about tech, content marketing, personal development, and mental health.

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