Technological advances have made working with others a part of everyday business. No man or woman can survive as an island in the office today. Collaboration is necessary, but can prove to be a challenge. Differences in personalities and work styles can make collaboration complicated.
So, here are a few tips to help make collaboration in the office more successful:
Listen carefully. Being engaged is critical to collaboration. Actively and effectively listening will help you gain the trust and respect of your team members. Show you are listening with facial expressions and body language. If you aren’t sure you understood what someone said, ask a follow up question.
Communicate clearly. Many potential problems can be easily avoided if there is clear communication. Speak or write in a manner that is easy for any listener to understand, always make an effort to be concise, and stay on topic. When talking, use silence and pauses to provide others the opportunity to voice their thoughts.
Play well with others. Managing disagreement is difficult, but necessary to collaboration. Be very careful and get your point across without hurting anyone’s feelings or attacking others. Always give and receive criticism in a calm, respectful manner. Allow people to finish making their point without interrupting them. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes can help you see their point of view. Allow all decisions to be decided by a consensus. Finally, respect the time of others by showing up for scheduled meetings on time.
Don’t just bring problems, bring solutions. Identifying and pointing out problems is easy; coming up with solutions is heavy lifting. Don’t merely bring to light issues or errors, take the time to think of thoughtful solutions to present to the group, as well.
Share both responsibility and credit. If others are helping you accomplish a goal, be sure to recognize their contributions and share the credit when you succeed.
Coming together with others can allow you to accomplish great things in the office, but collaboration isn’t always easy. Follow these simple suggestions to collaborate with confidence in your office.