Does your team currently have the right skill set they need to work together effectively? As leaders or executives, the pressure is on us to increase our team’s output and deliver better results, leaving us constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to increase productivity. One way to do this is through creating better conditions for collaboration to thrive.
In our experience, teams that have the necessary skills to collaborate effectively largely outperform those which don’t. In this article, we share our expertise and insight by looking at 6 crucial skills that will largely transform the way your team interacts with each other.
If you’re currently leading a team and are involved in any collaborative efforts, you need to start by asking yourself some important questions. Is your team currently collaborating effectively? Have you created the conditions necessary for collaboration to thrive? Have you offered training and support to your team to develop the essential skills needed for collaboration?
Effective collaboration is achieved when the results of the team’s efforts are greater than those which individual members could achieve on their own. But the bolstered results from effective collaboration don’t come easily. Collaboration comes with its own set of challenges – challenges that require specific skills to overcome.
We’ve put together a list of the 6 most important skills needed by great collaborators:
One of the most crucial factors in collaboration is communication. Your team members need to be able to express themselves clearly to each other and successfully manage channels of communication with regards to their project. All individuals need to understand their responsibilities and report on them regularly to others. If everyone on your team has good communication skills, they will all be on the same page, working towards a common goal, all the while aware of current challenges encountered and milestones reached.
One of the reasons why collaboration is such a successful tool, is because it brings people from different walks of life together and harnesses the different strengths of each individual personality. This means that the ability to be authentic and true to one’s self, is an important skill to have when collaborating. Effective collaboration will only be achieved if each team member is bringing their unique perspectives, talents and feedback to the table.
For any team to work together in harmony and collectively solve problems, all individuals on the team need to have the skill of compromise. Not every battle has to be fought. If your team can compromise with each other, they will be able to reach the best possible solutions from an amalgamation of ideas. The ability to compromise is extremely important not only for results but also for team dynamics and work happiness. If there is someone on your team who does not know how to compromise, their stubbornness may be hindering the overall productivity and morale.
Everyone on your team must have the ability to be tolerant and accepting of others. Creating a team, means grouping individuals together who more than likely have an endless list of differences. Members may have different values, culture, perspectives, work methods as well as diverse ways of handling conflict and stress. It is vital that everyone involved can put differences aside and practice tolerance towards each other. Without tolerance, effective collaboration will not take place.
5. TEAM PLAYER
For effective collaboration to occur, every person involved needs to be a team player who is focused on reaching a common goal. Individuals who are looking out for their own interests will not contribute to team efforts. Good collaborators need to be able to work well with others and conduct themselves in a way that adds value to the socially shared work task. Ability to work as part of a team is key for any collaborator – and it’s unfortunately not a skill that everyone possesses naturally!
Collaboration requires trust, and trust comes from reliability and consistency. Each and every collaborator has to have the skill of being consistent and being reliable. Members on the team need to have faith in each other in getting tasks done and in trust among one another when sharing ideas and giving feedback. If your team aren’t reliable, your results will be unpredictable and often disappointing. Make sure that they are actively working on reliability and putting measures in place that keep them from dropping the ball.
The benefits of collaboration in any organisation are numerous. If the members of your team have the above 6 skills, the results from their collaborative efforts will reach all-new heights. As a team leader, you need to encourage your team to develop and work on these skills. You may need to provide training and support in improving their collaboration skills and even incorporate these skills into your organisation’s values and culture.
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