collaboration

The best you can do for your organization and the entire workforce is to push all employees to perform better collectively. Collaboration and teamwork are essential aspects, and they determine the overall output and productivity of any team. Any team that works collectively will always be more productive and perform better than one that shows individuality.

Team building is a concrete concept that requires your effort and insight. You have to overcome many challenges to develop a cohesive team. This article outlines some team-building skills you need to improve collaboration in your workplace.

1. Trust

Teamwork depends on relationships, and every relationship is anchored in trust. A lack of trust for any team member can create a hostile environment in which employees feel dissatisfied.

On the other hand, trust allows every team member to put in their best at work without supervision.

You can develop trust among your team over time. This means getting to know everyone, their weaknesses, and their strengths. Here is how you can develop trust.

Create activities that enhance team-building: Plan activities outside the regular work time to empower and build skills that create togetherness. Exciting team-building activities may involve field trips, virtual meetings, and team lunches.

Encourage bonding: As identified above, team-building activities require planning. On the other hand, team bonding should be an ongoing process and part of the organizational culture. Start by implementing things that encourage bonding, for instance, group assignments.

Focus on accountability: Trust means believing that every team member will dispense their duties as required. Every department has its objectives and goals that must be met. A lack of accountability may see teams not following through on departmental and company goals.

Examine the organization: You need to focus on the entire organization to figure out what is not working. Ensure that the working environment is perfect for collaboration. Coffee breaks can be a great way to encourage teams to bond outside the regular assignments and projects.

Building trust requires accountability for every set objective. This can be in the form of setting organizational goals, key performance indicators, and performance measurement to report on progress.

2.      Team Work

You need to be a team player to encourage collaboration. This means being able to evaluate how teams work together. Typically, the team should be in a position to perform its duties without you. Your job would be to guide and encourage the team to work effectively as a unit.

As employees become more comfortable with each other, they improve their productivity and efficiency. Here are ways you can enhance teamwork:

Team building activities: Team building activities that create trust also improve teamwork. These activities help the team bond to improve productivity and output.

Encourage collaboration: Every time a new member comes into the organization, make sure there is someone to mentor them into the system as part of your onboarding program. This develops connections and collaboration.

Improve collaboration and cooperation: Create after-work- get-together to enhance cooperation. Encouraging employees to know each other improves systemic togetherness and collaboration.

Learn to address conflicts within the organization in the most amicable way possible. Encourage members to share their experiences and listen to each other to solve disagreements. Finding an acceptable solution to every situation enhances teamwork within your space.

3.  Tolerance

How do you accept and appreciate everyone for their uniqueness?  Every team should be diverse, with people coming from different social backgrounds. Every culture, value, belief, and principle is unique and communicates how everyone is.

You need to accept and appreciate all these within the system without any bias. The best way is to avoid imposing something on others. Here is how you can develop a tolerance for better collaboration.

Education: Educate yourself and others to be tolerant. This may call for a diversity and inclusion workshop for the entire team.

Increase exposure: many people are intolerant because they are not exposed to various ideas. Creating a diverse team introduces everyone to something new and different perspectives that enhance tolerance and collaboration.

The best way to be tolerant is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. By seeing things from others’ perspectives, you resonate with their ideas and beliefs. This is the best way to develop tolerance.

4.  Communication

One of the essential qualities you need for better collaboration is communication. Effective communication helps you set goals, plan team activities, design new policies, and introduce strategies.

Clear and solicitous communication is essential for collaboration. Members need to express their views. However, the problem crops up because people have a different way of communicating. Fostering effective communication is all about being considerate of various communication styles and helping everyone to adapt.

You need to be aware of every one’s view on everything and how comfortable they are. Here is how you can improve communication.

Give every member a voice: Collaboration tools enhance accessible communication. Such tools allow everyone to speak up and share their ideas. This is a perfect way to enhance collaboration through communication.

Understand everyone: Not every member will be a good communicator. However, it is essential to understand every person. Consider using private chat rooms to help others communicate their thoughts without fear.

Communicate in a way that everyone prefers: Some people prefer written communication while others prefer verbal communication. The trick lies in understanding your team and knowing what is best for it.

Creating a collaborative workspace means allowing people to communicate in a way they understand better. All collaborative attempts and ideas should be tactful and well thought out to ensure they incorporate alternative communication styles. This helps people communicate their thoughts freely.

5.  Self Awareness

Knowing yourself and how you affect everyone in the team is an essential aspect of teamwork and collaboration. Communication becomes effective when you know what you want to pass around. Self-awareness helps you understand your concerns and feelings to communicate better.

Every output affects the team in a way. To be more collaborative, members should know their roles in team dynamics. Here is how you can develop self-awareness for better collaboration.

Request feedback: You may be hard on yourself. To become more productive, you need another person’s assessment of your performance. Ask about what you need to improve on. As much as it helps you become better, it also shows you value other people’s views.

Evaluate yourself: know when to take a break and evaluate what you have done. It is okay to be disappointed when someone fails to deliver. However, finding ways to deal with such lows instead of vending out your energy on other people is vital.

Knowing what you can do and what you need to improve helps the teamwork better. You do not want to take tasks you cannot deliver, for it will take a toll on the overall team performance.

6.  Adaptability

Most collaborative projects do not turn out as planned. With time, you may shift your priorities, experience delays, and change tact. What you do when things do not go as planned determines your success or failure. Do you throw your hands and quit, or do you devise a plan B?

A dynamic environment requires adaptability, which is a vital collaboration skill that is also a challenge to many. Adaptability requires experience and open-mindedness. The best you can do is lead the way and communicate plan B to get everyone up to speed. Here is how you can improve adaptability for better collaboration.

Have an exit strategy: You need a way out when things go haywire. Having an alternative plan helps everyone know what to do in case of unplanned changes.

Communicate better: You should bring everyone up to speed on new developments to help them adjust and adapt.

Share thoughts: A plan B may not be effective if some people are not involved. Always schedule meetings to share ideas on “what next” for the project. It is easier to adapt to a plan you had an input in than a completely different concept.

Adaptability is crucial because things tend to change along the way. For instance, you cannot expect to have the same team throughout. Some people may be transferred to other departments. You need to adapt to new environments and learn to adjust fast enough.

The Bottom Line

Team building skills promote collaboration and efficiency in the workplace. Accordingly, these skills require collective goals. You should have a profound understanding of how the organization and every team member work.

Rithesh Raghavan is the Director at Acodez, a Digital Agency in India. Having a rich experience of 15+ years in Digital Marketing, Rithesh loves to write up his thoughts on the latest trends and developments in the world of IT and software development.

Collaboration stock image by Lightspring/Shutterstock