What are collaboration skills? (+9 strategies)
This blogpost aims to explain what collaboration skills are. We will also be describing various strategies to improve collaboration skills among team members and the benefits that these skills bring to the workplace. Collaboration skills are essentially the building blocks of an organization’s work process and contribute heavily to its success.
What are collaboration skills?
Collaboration skills are those that help in the process of collaboration. These can include skills that directly affect the work process and also those that can enrich an individual’s life. Since the benefits of these skills are plenty, organizations emphasize on recruiting candidates who show many of these skills or show a potential to learn them. The most common skills involved are:
Clear and concise communication
Communication skills are very important for teamwork and collaboration. The communication is not limited to verbal modes alone but also includes non-verbal and written modes. The communication has to be open and transparent in order to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications between the team members.
While oral and verbal communication is given its share of importance, non-verbal and written communication are also highly important. Non-verbal communication, which includes body language, eye contact and body posture can convey a different message if not well-aligned with the verbal message. It can be used to emphasize and magnify the importance of the message.
Written communication is the most common type of communication in an organization. Most organizations still prefer email chains as the official mode of communication. Many other popular types of communication also use the written form extensively. A good example of this is instant messaging and chat platforms.
Adaptability to change
Since organizations go through a lot of change all the time, employees need to be highly adaptable and flexible. This not only pertains to business organizations but all types of groups as the world we live in is developing at a very fast pace. In order to be successful, we need to keep up with the trends and adapt ourselves according to the times.
Acceptance of feedback
Flatter organizational structures highly encourage feedback among team members. Feedback is also encouraged in other groups that are closely bonded and are looking for new ways to develop. Through feedback, an organization or group can solve problems at a faster rate and also prepare for ones that may come up in the future.
Negotiation skills are highly important to defuse tense situations and come to a consensus. Team members often have very strong but differing opinions with each which can escalate into heated discussions. These require other team members to step in and negotiate in order to avoid further disruptions in the work process that may hamper the group’s overall success.
Recognizing others’ strengths
Every individual has something unique and great to contribute. However, many strengths are left hidden or undiscovered since no one has bothered to uncover it. It becomes the responsibility of the team members to recognize strengths that they each have to offer and encourage its use in the team’s work process.
Active listening skills
Active listening is actually a part of communication skillset. Through active listening, the message is understood a lot better as the receiver listens to understand and not just respond. This requires patience and empathy from the part of the listener. It also allows the speaker to feel valued and genuinely understood.
Working with a group of people in a close manner will not always be easy. It might lead to stress and frustration. This is particularly when deadlines have to be met faster and the project requires a lot of attention and effort. Stress management and the ability to regulate one’s own emotions especially at the workplace is a good skill to learn and practice.
When team members are open-minded, it means they are ready to accept any new idea or suggestion that might be well-aligned with the goal. Open-mindedness in team members also promotes new suggestions to be shared with the rest of the group. In this manner, the team can create new products and designs that can be highly profitable for the organization.
Strategies to improve collaboration skills
In order to improve collaboration skills among team members, the following strategies can be used:
- Conduct meetings in an effective manner in order to make the best use of them
- Send out an outline of the meeting so team members will know what to expect
- Use a mode of communication that team members prefer
- Allow everyone to speak up during discussions and meetings
- Give opportunities to post opinions through other ways as well
- Train team members in organization by giving responsibility over small tasks
- Review the organizational goals and vision over and over again
- Advocate and demonstrate great collaborative strategies through the leaders
- Encourage healthy discussions and constructive debates
Benefits of collaboration skills
Organizations emphasize collaboration for the many benefits that they bring. Some of these benefits are mentioned as follows:
- It allows clear and effective communication
- These skills promote accountability and responsibility
- Diversity is understood and celebrated
- There is more innovation and creativity in the group
- They bring about smoother work processes
- It leads to a boost in sales and marketing for the company
- It increases customer satisfaction
- It can also bring down costs
This blogpost has explained what collaboration skills are. We have also described the various strategies to improve collaboration skills among team members and the different benefits that these skills bring to the workplace.
Frequently asked questions: (What are collaboration skills?)
What skills can you put on a CV?
Mentioning skills in a proper manner in your CV can impress the recruiter or employer highly. However, you need to mention the right skills and also align them with the position or role that you are applying for. Some of the great skills you can put on your CV are:
Employers look for candidates who possess good communication skills. This can be valuable in the team as effective communication can avoid misunderstandings and resulting conflicts. They can also be useful for interacting with customers. Communication skills include speaking and listening as well as implementing empathy in conversation.
These skills or this skillset helps people get along with others. This is highly required in organizations since most of the projects require you to work in a group. Thus, they promote teamwork and cooperation. These skills include communication skills and also others like patience and tolerance.
Leadership abilities are required not only in those who are applying for leadership roles, but also other candidates. When a team member has good leadership abilities, they can manage groups and direct projects easily. They can also motivate and inspire others to accomplish more than their required goals.
Time-management may sound like common sense. However, some individuals manage their time in a much better manner than others. Using time-management skills, projects can be completed on time or even before time. This skill set comprises other skills like goal-setting, organization skills and delegating tasks and assignments.
Customer service skills
This soft skill allows team members to interact with customers in a much better level. It also helps in addressing the problems of the customer and using quick thinking and decision making to provide solutions. This skillset also requires other skills such as active listening, empathy and problem-solving abilities.
What are your top 3 skills?
The top 3 skills that employers look for are:
Since organizations have many tasks that require you to work in a group, teamwork and cooperation are skills they keenly look for. A great team player has to be someone who focuses on the shared goals of the team rather than their individual goals. They also love working with others and are able to motivate and inspire the other members of the team.
A positive attitude
Nothing beats an attitude like optimism. When an individual is optimistic and has a positive attitude, they naturally attract the attention of those around them. They are also able to influence others and thus can change the perspective of the team when things don’t go as planned. These people are highly solution-focused rather than whining about the problem.
Employers love employees who are self-starters and can manage their responsibilities with the least external help. These individuals also make great leaders and can delegate tasks easily. Self-starters rarely require motivation or inspiration from someone else and don’t need to be told twice to do a task.
What skills are needed for success?
The important skills required for success in your profession or career, are described below. These skills are required in addition to your educational qualifications, certifications and also your experience. These skills are:
Conflict resolution skills
These skills boost a person’s popularity in the organization. Conflicts are very common in an organization, even if they have great communication and cohesion. Through conflict resolution, these conflicts can become constructive events. Consensus can be reached ensuring the satisfaction of all the parties involved and thus lingering resentments and future conflicts can be avoided.
Self-awareness is a great skill for both an individual’s personal as well as professional life. Through self-awareness, an individual can understand their strengths as well as areas of weaknesses. This is a key factor for high self-confidence and self-esteem. Self-awareness can also lead to further learning and development of an individual.
Business communication skills
Business requires a lot of communication in many forms. It may require to write well and also speaking well over the phone, in-person, one-on-one or to a mass gathering. Business communication also requires proper business etiquette which shows your professionalism and respect to the other members in the interaction.
Personality development allows an individual to build skills that promote their value as a person. It also makes a brand of the individual in the organization, thus increasing their value and esteem among others. Through personality development, individuals can conduct successful meetings and also build great partnerships inside and outside the organization.
Sales skills can be useful even if you are not in the sales department. It requires great negotiation, active listening, empathy and knowledge about the product. Through these skills an individual can promote their ideas and suggestions in a group. They can also maneuver people in their favor, thus increasing their individual success.
If you like this blogpost, please leave your questions and comments in the space below.