In this post, we will be discussing the different ways to demonstrate collaboration in the workplace and during the hiring process. We will also be explaining what effective collaboration is, its benefits for a team and the different types of collaborative skills. Collaboration is essential in the workplace as better collaborative teams tend to be more productive and fulfilled.
How do you demonstrate collaboration in the workplace?
In this section we shall be discussing the different ways you can demonstrate collaboration. Using these methods may help you become a more collaborative employee, raising your standards while also improving your job satisfaction at the same time.
- Being open with your team members
This is easier said than done. In traditional organizations, information was set aside for only certain groups of people. In flatter hierarchies like today, information is encouraged to be shared with everyone in order to boost collaboration.
When we are talking about information, we are not referring to highly confidential data but those like company goals, values and challenges. The more the organization is open and transparent in sharing information, the more the employees demonstrate productivity and loyalty.
- Sharing knowledge and other resources
Just as in the former point mentioned, it is important that the right information is accessible to every team-member. It is additionally important to gain knowledge from people with different skill-sets and backgrounds. A collaborative team will embrace an open and judgement-free zone that is conducive to the learning process itself.
- Encouraging creativity in the team
We would have practiced a lot of creativity especially in our early schooling years. With arts, crafts and other little projects, we let our imaginations run free. Many employees feel that their workplaces stifle their creativity.
However, being collaborative means encouraging and practicing creativity. Encourage your team members to be creative, while being open to listen at the same time. Creativity helps generate new ideas to solve-problems.
- Demonstrating collaboration as a leader
If you are in a position to lead a group of people, you should put on your collaborating shoes every day. You should be open to communication, practice honesty and transparency as well as be respectful and empathetic.
Your team-members will follow your example more than your words or your written communiques. When you give importance to collaborating openly, your team will automatically pick it up and make it a part of their mindset.
- Practicing optimism daily
No, we are not talking about toxic positivity. We are not talking about brimming with a smile even while the ceiling is coming down. But being positive and trusting of your team will encourage them to be more productive. Practice optimism and cheerfulness while working with your team members, and you will certainly see them mirroring it.
- Giving appropriate rewards
Even though no one works for free, team members need other motivators for better productivity. Collaborative teams celebrate successes and wins regularly. They also vocally appreciate other team members. This creates a positive uplifting environment where work would be enjoyed and not seen as a taxing chore.
- Shaking up the routine
Productivity falls if the same task is repeated over and over again. Sometimes it takes a fresh mind to freshen things up. Take up a project outside your comfort zone that might spark your interest and give you a break. This can also be done in a team by assigning different types of projects than what they are used to. This not only promotes learning but can also improve productivity.
How can you show your collaboration skills to a future employer?
There are ways to demonstrate work-place collaboration even before you step into the office. Great workplaces expect their employees to be highly collaborative and hire people who are going to be team-players. If you want to show your future employer that you are a collaborative person, these are three things you can do:
- Putting it on your resume
Showcase your collaboration skills right there in your resume. While mentioning your collaboration skills, make sure you mention scenarios or situations where you used those very skills efficiently. You can mention projects where you were the team-leader or situations where you helped others in learning or problem-solving.
- Mentioning it in your cover letter
While writing your cover letter, ensure that you highlight how your collaborative skills can help you with the particular role. Mention how you think you can perform the role effectively using your collaborative techniques and methods.
- Talking about it in the interview
Demonstrating collaboration should not just be on paper, but also in your physical interview. Show that you can be an effective collaborator in the interview by describing situations where you negotiated or led a group to finish a project.
Remember to be courteous to the other staff present as well, from the security to the receptionist and not only the recruiter. Behaviors like this are highly expected from collaborative people.
What is effective collaboration?
Collaboration becomes effective when team members feel that they are an important part of something bigger than themselves. It requires active participation and a collaborative mindset from every person in the team.
What are the benefits of collaboration?
Since we are talking about collaboration, here are some benefits that effective collaboration can bring to your workplace.
- Increased learning in the team
Collaboration is unique because we have people from different skill-sets and backgrounds coming together to create something unique. Since a collaborative mindset is an open mindset, it creates a lot of space for learning and applying. In a collaborative team, we find that the members learn from other team members’ experiences ultimately leading to an increased productivity.
- Efficient problem-solving
When there is collaboration, the knowledge bank is huge. There are many thoughts and ideas that would have never come up otherwise. This leads to a better method of solving problems, many times in ingenious manners.
- Cross-training of different skill sets
In a big organization, collaborative teams consist of members from different departments. Having members with different roles in the same room will not only increase awareness but also creates a space of trust and respect for other departments in the organization. This also paves way for more inter-departmental communication and learning.
- Improved productivity levels
Collaboration ultimately leads to an increased productivity. Projects tend to be completed quicker with better value as team members understand their roles with more clarity. Since the roles themselves are distributed according to each one’s strengths, the work is done in an efficient and smoother manner.
What are the different types of collaborative skills?
Collaborative skills are those that help you work better with others. It stems from co-operation and mutual respect between members. They include skills like communication, emotional intelligence and respect for diversity. These skills are explained in detail below.
- Actively listening to others
Active listening is more than just hearing what someone has to say. Active listening is different from passive listening with the fact that the former requires proper understanding with no judgement. It also means having to clarify your doubts and voicing your thoughts after the speaker finishes communicating.
- Using non-verbal communication
Many of us think non-verbal communication is body language. In fact, it is much more than that. Non-verbal communication includes other factors like the tone of your voice, eye-contact, gestures, etc.
Many times, our non-verbal communication is ‘louder’ than our verbal communication and is picked up easily by our team-members. Having the right non-verbal communication is a very important skill if you want to collaborate well with your team.
- Practicing effective verbal communication
It is common knowledge that it is important to know what to say and when to say it. Learn to communicate your thoughts mindfully while learning to disagree respectfully.
- Using the right written words
There is a lot of written communication between people in corporates and learning to deliver messages properly is a necessary skill. Being able to communicate while keeping in mind the receiver’s mindset and personality is what makes a written communique effective.
- Using emotional intelligence
While IQ will always hold its importance and preference in the workplace, EQ is also gaining a strong foothold. It has been noted that Emotional Intelligence is more important than IQ for workplace collaboration. Those who possess high EQ tend to grow faster in the ranks than those with high IQ but less EQ.
Emotional intelligence itself is an umbrella term that includes many skills like empathy, sympathy, self-awareness, resilience, patience, understanding emotions, etc. It does not come overnight but takes years of practice. But it is certainly a skill-set every employee should possess.
- Respecting and promoting diversity
Since today’s workplace has become global and diverse, our teams are filled with people from different cultures and backgrounds. It is important to respect them not just superficially but also passionately so that the outcome is positive growth.
Respecting diversity without cultural appropriation and offending anyone will happen only when team members are emotionally intelligent.
How do these skills work in improving collaboration?
Since we know the different types of collaborative skills, it is also important to understand how they work. The better we understand the reasons these skills help to improve collaboration, the more we’ll be open to using them in real-life.
Collaboration skills help employees change their perspective from ‘I’ to ‘we’. Shared goals and values become more important than individual ones, thus allowing projects to be completed at a faster rate.
It also allows empathetic and open communication paving way for better problem-solving. Collaborative skills allow members to be recognized for their strengths and their accomplishments at the same time being more accepting towards failure.
In this post, we have discussed the different ways to demonstrate collaboration in the workplace and during the hiring process. We have also explained what effective collaboration is, its benefits for a team and the different types of collaborative skills.
Frequently asked questions:
What is an example of collaboration?
When people work together closely, towards a shared goal, it becomes collaboration. An example of collaboration would be a brainstorming session with an open and honest environment. This allows creativity to flow while solving problems in ingenious ways.
How can we describe good collaboration?
Good collaboration occurs when there is active listening and clear communication between team members. When people take responsibility for their mistakes while respecting diversity, we can say there is effective collaboration.
How do you demonstrate collaboration skills in an interview?
You can start demonstrating collaboration even before you enter the workplace. Today’s recruiters place a big emphasis on collaboration skills. When an interviewer asks you to give examples of collaboration or teamwork, you can explain it with a situation.
You can explain the context of the situation and what the aims of the team were. You can also mention the course of action taken, the various hiccups you faced and how you met the goal. Don’t forget to mention the challenges and negotiations along the way.
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