In this day and age, collaboration is imperative to have any kind of success. Whether it is a career or personal goal, no man is an island. In business, working well together is what will make the difference between actually reaching goals or not. Below are some tips to help understand how to develop collaboration skills.
1. Forget about grandstanding or being a part of a clique. That’s not collaboration. It’s not a popularity contest. Sure, you need to get along with people. But too much of that will create a bunch of people pleasers rather than teams. The first thing everyone needs to do is check the ego at the door and put all baggage aside. Then you can bring out your best self to focus on common goals.
2. Make workspaces more collaborative. By this I mean really work together in large rooms as much as possible. That could be impractical on a daily basis, but having outside meetings in rooms designed for collaboration can be very invigorating. The change of scenery does everyone good and even evokes more creativity. When you think about it, walls are, well, walls that form a barrier. Office privacy is great for tasks you really have to concentrate on, but they really suck when it comes to attempting collaboration. Open up the space and people will naturally gravitate to more meaningful team work.
3. Keep communication free and open. Make yourself available to people. Be willing to share ideas readily. Innovation and high levels of success – for both companies and individuals – springs from great communication. Every invention has involved input from others.
It’s really that simple. But you wouldn’t think it was, say – in Washington. If you really want to understand how failing to collaborate works – that’s one place that has the best example. Politicians can get away with such a stunning level of cooperation because they’re really not accountable to anyone. But in the private sector, as it is called — that’s just not the case. That’s the main reason that collaboration skills will always be so important.