Fostering collaboration in the workplace ought to be straight forward. After all, you’ve assembled all these smart people, all with a common goal of providing the best product or service to consumers.
While at the surface, this would be true, each person in the team is wearing a different hat, with differing worldview, work ethic, and, perhaps most importantly, motivations. The human resources exec, for example, has completely different priorities and metrics for success than the accounting manager and vice-versa.
Writing in BizJournals, Scott T. Bailey, president of the Brilliance Institute, discusses four tips to foster collaboration in the workplace to produce the optimal results:
A successful team starts with bringing together the best talent. Key to this, however, is being able to recognize what each person can bring to the table. There will, of course, be the star player, who wears their talents on their sleeve and who you know will help drive the team, but you also shouldn’t dismiss the quieter types who are just as talented, but may not be as forthcoming with their ideas. If you know your cast of characters, you can get the most out of them.
Bailey notes that team communication should be simple and structured – and should be decided upon way before the team sits down. Whether you choose to communicate in person, by email, or through conference calls, make sure everyone is on the same page and that whatever is discussed is accessible to all team members.
Make sure that you and your team are all on the same page when it comes to objectives and goals. As a team leader, you should outline for the group what you are seeking to do, create or facilitate and invite them to speak up and pitch in whenever they see fit. To ensure that things don’t get too unwieldy, make sure everyone is aware of the timeframe for this project and that you, as the leader, are ultimately in charge and therefore responsible for the ultimate outcome.
Keep it real:
According to Bailey, “politeness is the antithesis of creativity.” He advises that you let your team members know that you expect “passionate debate, creative conflict, and authenticity,” and that in order to achieve these goals, you might just have to sacrifice a little politeness on the way.
Do you think these four tips will help foster collaboration in your workplace? Do you have any rules that you follow to help boost team projects? Please share in the comments.