Five Tips For Effective Collaborations
There is no I in we.
There is no I in Team
Lets collaborate and we will see
I’ve collaborated on several projects or business ideas. Quite honestly, I didn't realize how important collaborations were in successfully honing new skills, increasing creative ideas and sharpening communications skills. I was one of them - thought I can do it all on my own. However, I’ve learned that in addition to the benefits I mentioned before, collaborations are an opportunity to share the workload, resources and maximize the success of the project. However, if there aren't clear expectations and an open line of communication the optimal result will not be achieved.
Here are five tips for effective collaboration.
1. A collaboration should be mutually beneficial for all parties involved: When approaching someone about collaborating, think about how everyone can benefit. Most people whether consciously or unconsciously want to know “what’s in it for me?”. When you add value to the person and think about how they can add value to you, it increases the likelihood of an effective collaboration.
2. Have an open line of communication: Be willing to communicate if something isn't working for you. At its core, collaboration is effective communication. Be ok with saying how you feel. This will dissolve any harboring, negative emotion that might adversely affect the project.
3. There must be harmony in the collaboration: Work with people who match your personality style or work ethic. The best collaborative team is one where the team members have a positive mindset. In one of my worst collaborative experiences, my partner and I did not have similar styles of conflict resolution. The person was rigid and closed minded to ideas that weren't their own. As a result I became disengaged and unexcited about the project. Needless to say, the project failed. Ultimately, if there is no harmony and willingness to compromise, its best to reconsider the team dynamic to secure your peace of mind.
4. Allocate specific tasks to each person: There will never be another “I thought you were supposed to do it”. Clearly outlining what each person is responsible for, gives them ownership over their task and lessens any confusion when it's time to follow up.
5. Plan the vision and make it plain: Have a clear end game and execution plan in place. This will allow each team member to have a buy-in and be energized by the potential end result. Also by thinking with the end in mind, steps can be broken down into task and assigned to the most effective person instead of haphazard assignment.
Bonus tip: Trust- In any team dynamic, there has to be transparency and trust. Keeping everyone in the loop about the project and trusting that they will get the job done. A great way to build trust is by having face to face meetings (video chats included) or activities that would bond the team members.
Share any tips you might have on collaboration in the comments section. If you have an upcoming event or project and need an effective project manager who understands the importance of collaborations and supporting team members, please reach out and let's schedule a chat. Until next time…#yourpartnerinshine.