Teams that are highly effective get things done with minimal drama and disagreement. Other teams are less effective and are full of jealousy, complaining, and poor work ethics. How do you take an ineffective team and turn things around? You teach your team the value of collaborating.
Why is Collaborating Important?
Collaboration shows that everyone is on the same page, moving together toward the same goal. The word literally means “the act of working with someone to produce or create something.” A group of people that are effectively collaborating will complete projects, meet goals, and bring value to the organization.
Beyond the obvious goal of completing projects, collaborating has other benefits. Working with others promotes self-analysis because it requires you to explain and describe your ideas. You have a mirror that helps you understand how you’re coming across and how to communicate more effectively.
Secondly, working on a collaborative team builds your emotional quotient (EQ). EQ is the ability to identify, understand, and manage your emotions in positive ways to help you overcome conflict, relieve stress, communicate effectively, and empathize with others. Understanding both your emotions and the feelings of others makes you more valuable as an employee.
Finally, it teaches you and your fellow team members how to draw on each other’s strengths and experiences to solve problems. You come to respect different viewpoints and learn new methods of problem-solving.
How Do I Get My Team Collaborating?
One of the first things you can do to get your team collaborating, is to make sure that you understand how each individual is motivated and how they would best work together. Assessments are a great way to understand your team. Once you understand each team member individually, you can work on bringing them together as a group.
The next step to get your team collaborating is effective communication. You want to make sure you communicate the purpose of the work and show how it aligns with larger goals. Once you’ve laid out the vision, get buy-in from your team. Help them articulate how working together will draw on their strengths and help them reach their personal goals.
Finally, you’ll need to organize project roles. Make sure everyone understands what they are expected to contribute, along with timelines and clear communication protocols. When everyone understands their role, they will be able to collaborate much more easily.
Getting your team collaborating isn’t just about your team members, it’s also about you. You’ll need to provide key leadership, organize day-to-day operations, manage conflict, and more. As a leader, you are a key part of your team’s collaboration.
Breaking the Ice
When you bring a new group together, it can be challenging for them to initially get to know each other. If you use assessments, you can bring a group together to discuss their results to better understand each other. Let each team member share individually about what they learned about themselves and what they would like other team members to know.
You can also use discussion questions to break the ice. These questions help get people talking and sharing about themselves, their motivations, and what they like most. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Who do you look forward to seeing when you come to work?
- What is the best part of your job?
- What’s the best technique you have been using to better manage your time?
- Who is the leader that you try to emulate?
Bringing your team together can be a challenge, but it certainly isn’t impossible. When you assess each member of your team, help them understand themselves and their fellow team members, communicate, organize team roles clearly, and provide great leadership, you’ll have a team that gets more done with less drama.
If you need help learning more about how to get your team to collaborate, contact us today for a free consultation!