In the complex world of business, where more and more specialists are a part of the organization, leaders who can combine these diverse groups together to get things done are highly valued. Collaboration is the key and getting team members to work together in cooperation with each other is mandatory for success.
Getting a group of diverse people to work towards a common goal is extremely rewarding to a team leader. It can be unnerving and frustrating as well. Knowing how to collaborate effectively takes hard work from you.
Here are 6 tips to help you improve collaboration among your team members.
- Clearly define the goals and the expected outcome of the project the team is working on. Each member’s responsibilities should be explicitly identified. It may seem obvious to you but you want it to be obvious to the team member as well. They shouldn’t be wondering what to do next or who is doing what. Delegate key responsibilities to your team; those that make an impact on the project outcome.
- Choose your team by carefully thinking about the people you want to work on this project. Assigning tasks to the right people is necessary to having an effective collaboration. When choosing members, consider each member’s skills, personality, their experience and their schedules.
- Are there members of your team who are afraid to voice their opinions or to argue? These members won’t be adding to any helpful and stimulating ideas and need to be encouraged to speak up. Just because they are quiet doesn’t mean they don’t have good ideas. Always include every team member in discussions.
- Encourage your team members to socialize outside of work. This can be a great way to open up communication channels and break down walls of mistrust or misunderstanding.
- Recognize and celebrate good collaborative behavior. Mention the great work the team is doing in the company newsletter, on a podcast or annual report.
- Provide your collaboration team with the right and necessary tools. Do they need specific software or task management tools? These types of tools can be especially important if you team works from different locations.
- Once your collaboration is going, continue to mix things up. If the people on your team are collaborating more with people they know, like and trust it might be time to mix up your teams. For example invite the production guys to your design meeting. Better yet send everyone out for drinks or other social building time. This forces all your teams to come in contact and connect with the others.
Improving collaboration among your team members is sometimes necessary. Team members need to know their role in a project and to be encouraged to socialize with other members they don’t know in order to build trust to work together cohesively.