Collaboration: To work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor.
It is safe to say that most jobs involve collaborating with peers. I have a friend that works in a national sports organization managing their partnerships. Her job consists of collaborating with all departments in the organization to fulfill the contractual obligations of the partnerships. Without the ability to collaborate with team members, she would fail and the company would lose all of its partners. Needless to say, she practices such skills on a regular basis and is reliant on her peers to do the same.
One of the common themes to my coaching and team building events is helping my clients fine-tune their collaboration skills and give them the tools they need to be intentional and purposeful when doing so. It is easy to see the power of team work when the group comes together in a team building activity; the same holds true in the workplace.
That begs the question: when it comes to collaboration, where do you begin?
1. SHIFT – shift your team’s mindset. A way to cultivate a mindset directed toward collaboration and continuous improvement is to simply ask, “How can I make this better?” When a company truly collaborates and provides the best product or service by improving the processes that produce them, they create efficiencies in producing the desired end result and organizations are more effective.
2. OWN IT – own your stake in the project and overall goal. Don’t rely on others to change the process; start the process and always seek opportunities to improve it. It is a team effort and by encouraging people to collaborate, efficiencies are created for the group and all involved can work smarter, harder, and have better results. Take ownership and know that your contribution has an effect on the bottom line.
“Being in a band is always a compromise. Provided that the balance is good, what you lose in compromise, you gain by collaboration” – Mike Rutherford