Is collaboration a strength? (+7 collaborative strategies)
This article will be discussing if collaboration is a strength. We shall also be explaining how we can practice collaboration in our daily lives and the various collaborative strategies we can use in the workplace. Lastly, we will describe how you can improve your collaboration skills. Through collaboration, organizations and teams can achieve a lot more than when they work individually.
Is collaboration a strength?
Yes, collaboration is a strength. No matter the scale in which it is being implemented, whether it be a micro or a macro scale, collaboration can be a great plus for the people involved. Collaboration allows diversity to flow and be used as an asset in the team. In this manner, it encourages people from various geographical locations to work closely together.
Many research studies have shown that humans have a great need for collaboration and teamwork. This is the whole reason sociology as a science came into existence. It promotes our well-being and also motivates us to go the extra mile and put in more effort. It also creates a better alignment of the shared purpose, allowing teams to achieve great things.
Individuals who possess collaboration skills are more capable of working with others and achieving the shared goal. They also prefer group tasks to individual ones, making them great team players and highly attractive to employers and recruiters. These employees can be useful for breaking silos in the organization as well as networking with other companies.
How can we practice collaboration in our daily lives?
Collaboration as a strength can be practiced in our daily lives as members of a society. Collaboration can allow us to come together and fight against social evils and biases. Thus, it creates a better sense of community and helps us understand and celebrate diversity as an asset. We can practice collaboration in our daily lives through the following ways:
In order to collaborate better as a society and a community, we need to speak up and voice our opinions. When individuals speak up, it creates better awareness in the society about a particular issue. It can also enforce change and empower individuals. It is however important to align our voices with the values that we mean to follow.
Listen to different perspectives
While it is necessary to speak up, it is equally important to listen to different perspectives and opinions. This not only gives us more information but can allow us to view the problem or issue from multiple angles. When there are many points of view on the same subject, more solutions for the same can be created, allowing a better achievement of the goal.
Share ideas and suggestions
While sharing ideas and suggestions can be easy for some, it might not be so for many. As a collaborative person, it becomes your responsibility to encourage others to pitch their ideas during the discussion. This however requires you to set aside your ego which in turn requires a high-level of self-awareness and humility.
Collaborative strategies we can use in the workplace
Effective collaboration requires the proper use of collaborative skills and strategies. This requires a lot of planning and organization as well as the right communication and leadership style. This otherwise can lead to conflicts in the workplace and can lead to missing deadlines. A few collaborative strategies that can be used in the workplace are:
Establish a clear shared purpose
The team requires a strong shared purpose or goal for which they have to work strongly for. If the goal is not clearly set or is not well understood by the team members, then there is a chance the project will fail. In order to be successful, the goal should be smart. This means it should be very specific, easily measurable and realistic in nature.
Assigning roles and responsibilities
For the goal to be achieved, the team members need to have individual roles and goals. These individuals need to understand their roles well and also be accepting of them in order to accomplish them successfully. They also need to be able to fulfill their responsibilities and be accountable for their tasks by taking more ownership.
Use open and honest communication
Open and honest communication is essential for a smooth team process. When there is open communication between the team members, it leads to better rapport and strong team cohesion. It also allows more transparency in the workplace which further strengthens the team bond. Open communication should be practiced both verbally and non-verbally for it to be effective.
Capitalizing on individual strengths
When team members interact on a personal level with each other and practice open communication, they understand each other better. This can lead to the discovery of various hidden talents and resources. Using them in the team projects to achieve team goals can not only benefit the team but also greatly motivate the team members.
Listening as a skill is very rare to find among individuals. However, it is highly required in a team setting in order to foster understanding and avoid conflicts and mishaps. Listening with the goal of understanding is called active listening. Active listening as a skill can be the glue for teams and also the catalyst for team success.
Successes in the team need to be celebrated regularly. This can lead to a break from the regular work scenario, giving team members time and opportunities to vent and relax. While team successes are celebrated, individual accomplishments should also be recognized and acknowledged. This motivates the team members to work together for further projects.
Learn and grow together
Learning should be a constant focus in the team. When team members learn together, they also grow together as a unit. Learning can be implemented by taking different courses or attending workshops together. It can also be done by reviewing their successes and failures in the past and learning from this history.
How can you improve your collaboration skills?
Collaboration skills need to be improved and updated constantly in the organization. This is important not only for employees but also leaders and managers in the organization. You can improve your collaboration skills by using the following methods:
Participate in team bonding
Team-bonding does not develop overnight. Many organizations have great induction programs as well as team-building activities which help bring team members together. However, team cohesion as a goal requires daily practice. Participating actively in team bonding daily can greatly improve your collaboration skills.
When team members show accountability and responsibility in their tasks, they tend to achieve their goals in a smoother manner. Being accountable for your mistakes also helps you make up for it while also resolving conflicts. One way to improve the accountability in the team is to demonstrate it yourself. Start by showing high accountability in small tasks and then moving up.
Organizations and teams are becoming highly global and thus individuals from various parts of the world are coming together for work. Diversity can be a great asset but also can be a great challenge. One way to improve your collaboration skills is to educate yourself on diversity. You can also expose yourself to diverse cultures and backgrounds by interacting with others.
Ask for honest feedback
Sometimes we may not be able to know our strengths and weaknesses when we look in the mirror. Asking for honest feedback from someone you respect and trust can be a good way to measure your progress in learning collaboration skills. You can do this by interacting one-on-one and also through anonymous surveys.
Workplaces and organizations can lead to emotional upheavals and fluctuations throughout the day. Being aware of these emotions and thought processes is one thing, but it is also important to learn to work with them or around them. Mindfulness can be a great tool in helping you sort your thoughts, push out negativities and bring out a positive side in the workplace.
Learn to negotiate
Negotiation and compromise are very important in the team process. Since conflicts and differences of opinion can arise often in the team, learning to compromise is a useful collaborative skill which helps you negotiate better. It can allow you to realign the team with the organizational goals and vision, broadening the perspective and providing solutions.
This article has discussed if collaboration is a strength. We have also explained how we can practice collaboration in our daily lives and the various collaborative strategies we can use in the workplace. Lastly, we have described how you can improve your collaboration skills.
Frequently asked questions: (Is collaboration a strength?)
Is collaboration a life skill?
Yes, collaboration is an important life skill. Collaboration is becoming a world-wide phenomenon with almost all organizations and industries implementing collaborative practices. Since it is highly important and useful not only for businesses but also for communities and society as a whole, collaboration should be learnt from an early age.
Collaboration helps individuals globalize and interact with others from different parts of the world. It also creates respect and a better understanding of diversity. Importantly, collaboration helps in solving social problems and the ridding of social evils. Through collaboration, we can bridge our own skill and strength gaps by bringing in the help and resources of others.
Collaboration as a life skill can be very useful in higher education and career paths. This is because educational institutes and employers are seeking candidates who show strong collaboration skills.
How would you know if you are collaborating well?
When teams are implementing collaborative practices to become better at their roles, they might want to regularly check if they are indeed effective in the collaboration. We will know if we are collaborating in the right manner through the following signs:
- All the team members are highly oriented to the shared purpose and work actively towards achieving it
- They also understand their individual goals and accept the roles and responsibilities assigned to them
- There is transparency and openness in the team environment allowing honest feedback and criticism to be shared
- While there may be conflicts, these are taken in a constructive light and used to build better work processes
- There is more learning and development in the team allowing everyone to progress together
- Collaboration is practiced by using various tools and technologies with everyone being well-aware of how to use them successfully
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