This article will aim to describe the features of a collaborative person. It will also explain what collaboration skills are and the different types of collaborative skills that are used in the workplace. In addition, we will be discussing the importance of collaboration skills for a team.
Recruiters are placing more importance for collaborative skills (https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2016-03-23/these-3-career-skills-will-make-you-invaluable-to-your-employer) while hiring. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important to inculcate these skills at the earliest.
How do you describe a collaborative person?
A collaborative person can be described by several features. The most important features are listed below:
- Great communication skills
- Ability to actively listen
- Temperance and patience
- Non-verbal communication & body language
- Ability to build relationships
- Empathetic skills
- Conflict resolution skills
Research has shown that collaboration can lead to better teamwork and team performance in the workplace. Due to this, organizations are switching over to collaborative practices and looking for employees who are ready to work in such an atmosphere.
The important features of a collaborative person are explained as follows:
Great communication skills
Collaborative people tend to have great communication skills. These skills help them interact and mingle with anyone, regardless of shared interests or cultural backgrounds. These communication skills help them deliver astute messages in the right manner.
This ensures that they are understood properly. Due to their great communication skills, they can also pursue people to accomplish goals. They can promote an idea and help a team work closely towards a common goal.
Ability to actively listen
Not only are they great communicators, but collaborative people are great listeners as well. Listening helps them understand messages and relate to other people. It also them create a sympathetic and caring persona that others are naturally drawn to.
Collaborative persons also practice active listening. Active listening is considered an important skill, especially for those in a managerial position. Through active listening, miscommunication and misunderstandings are lessened. Active listening also makes the speaker feel valued and supported.
Temperance and patience
Individuals who are keen on collaborating with others in the organization need to show a lot of patience. A business organization is a place where conflicts and emotions can escalate at any time. Only a patient person can maintain a calm state of mind in these situations.
Patience is also required when dealing with difficult people. Collaborative leaders who have a lot of patience and temperance have the ability to turn conflicts and challenges in their favor.
Non-verbal communication & body language
Communication is not only verbal but also consists largely of non-verbal communication. This also includes body language. Non-verbal communication includes factors like eye-contact, tone of voice, speed of speech, posture, etc. When leaders demonstrate strong body language, it resonates well with the team members. They also gain confidence and strength in this way.
Ability to build relationships
Collaborative persons have the ability to build healthy relationships with people. This can be both members inside the team as well those outside of it. It can even include persons outside the organization.
This skill is highly required as trust is built through healthy relationships, which is essential for a collaborative workplace. Building relationships is not only required for a smooth workflow in the team. It also opens new doors and can bring new resources into the workplace.
Creativity is an integral part of any successful organization. Through creativity, new products and ideas come along. Creativity also helps solve problems in an ingenious way. Collaborative persons show high levels of creativity. They have the ability to think outside the box and bring new suggestions to the table.
While they are highly creative, they encourage this skill among other team members at the same time. This is why collaborative skills are an important characteristic of great leaders. They help others demonstrate their creative skills, thus fostering a positive and fun work environment.
Empathy is different from sympathy. While sympathy shows that a person is caring, empathy brings both caring and understanding. Empathetic skills are not easily gained and can be forgotten to be implemented as it takes effort. However, this quality is direly needed in the workplace, especially among teams that work closely together.
Collaborative persons demonstrate great empathetic skills. They genuinely care about people and try to understand what they are going through. This helps them build stronger relationships and also gain the trust of those working with them.
Conflict resolution skills
While conflicts can arise easily in the workplace, collaborative persons do not hesitate to face them head on. Conflicts need to be resolved immediately in order to save time and ensure a smoother work process. However, not everyone can be great at resolving conflicts. It takes patience, understanding and creativity to resolve conflicts efficiently.
Collaborative persons also show a lot of open-mindedness. Being open-minded allows them to accept any kind of suggestions and situations. It also helps them create an atmosphere of no judgement around them, encouraging others to communicate and collaborate with them.
Types of collaborative skills
Collaborative skills can be classified into three main types. These are:
Communication skills are of course an important part of collaboration. This covers verbal communication, non-verbal communication as well as written communication. Verbal communication comprises what a person says during a conversation. It also means knowing what to say and when to say it.
Non-verbal communication consists of several factors which include body language, eye-contact and tone of voice. Non-verbal communication enhances verbal communication skills. It can also sometimes be used as a communication method on its own.
Written communication is important, especially now since many companies are working remotely. Since we cannot see the other person while communicating through writing, it is important that we use the right tone.
Respecting diversity in a team
Though it seems like a simple skill, it is not always so. While globalization has led to diverse teams in organizations, it can be challenging if not approached in the right manner. While respecting diversity and using it as an asset, team leaders need to establish a positive environment.
Diversity in a positive and open environment allows creativity and innovation to flow. Team leaders should encourage open communication and discussions around diversity. At the same time, they should also sensitize individuals to various issues and facilitate better understanding.
Emotional Intelligence is becoming more sought out than high IQ levels. Those who have great emotional intelligence tend to collaborate better. They show better resilience and more productivity. They also tend to show great leadership skills. Emotional intelligence can comprise of many soft skills such as self-awareness, empathy & sympathy and resilience during hard times.
Importance of collaboration skills for a team
Collaboration is essential for the smooth functioning of a team. It has several great benefits such as:
Effective knowledge transfer
Collaboration promotes teaching and learning between team members. Team members who have different skill sets are ready to teach others. They also learn various skills from other members in return.
Team members learn more about themselves in a collaborative environment. Working in a team allows individuals to be more aware of their strengths and the areas they need to improve. Team members are also not hesitant to admit their weaknesses and work on them as they have the support of the entire team.
Increased work efficiency
Collaboration also allows work to be done in a smooth and efficient manner. Teams who collaborate effectively with each other complete projects on time. These teams also face hurdles and challenges in a better manner than those teams which don’t collaborate.
This article has described the features of a collaborative person. It has also explained what collaboration skills are and the different types of collaborative skills that are used in the workplace. Additionally, we have also discussed the importance of collaboration skills for a team.
Frequently asked questions: (How do you describe a collaborative person?)
How do you demonstrate collaboration skills?
Collaboration skills can be demonstrated in many ways. A few of them are described below:
Acknowledging strengths and giving credit
While it is easy to accept credit for our own accomplishments, complimenting others on theirs does not come easily. Acknowledging the accomplishments of others requires great observation skills and also a letting go of ego. However, this act is important for collaboration.
Listening to others
Listening to others can sound simple. But collaboration requires active listening which takes practice and effort. Through active listening, the message is heard and understood better. It also cuts down on misunderstandings between team members.
Giving feedback in the right manner
A collaborative environment promotes openness and feedback. However, feedback should be given and received in the right manner. Feedback allows the work process to be completed in a better manner, and also points out areas of weaknesses which might need improvement.
What are the advantages of collaboration?
Collaboration allows team members to communicate and work together in a better manner. It also helps in problem-solving and ensures better decision-making in the team. Collaborative leaders can lead the organization to a flatter structure, fostering openness and transparency in the company.
How does collaboration lead to success?
Collaboration can not only lead to happier employees, but also more productivity in the organization. Thus, it increases business profits for companies. Collaboration helps in this by:
Higher employee engagement leads to more productivity. The workload is appropriately shared by everyone in the organization. Hence, there is no wastage of company time.
Increasing communication within teams
Since team members communicate regularly and frequently with each other, they are all on the same page. There are also lesser misunderstandings and conflicts in teams when collaboration is effectively encouraged.
Increasing communication between teams and levels
Collaboration also encourages communication between different teams and hierarchical levels in the organization. This allows a better flow of knowledge and resources between functionalities. It also allows projects to be completed more efficiently.
Creating a happier place to work
Research studies have shown that collaboration can lead to happier employees. Happier employees tend to perform their tasks with more effort and motivation. These employees also tend to have longer careers in their organizations.
How do you speak collaboratively?
You can use the following methods in order to make people want to collaborate with you:
- Acknowledging and valuing people
- Being positive in your communication
- Encouraging suggestions and ideas
- Focusing on the team as a unit
- Specifying the shared or common goal
If you like this article, please post your comments or questions below