What are the four primary purposes of collaboration?
In this blogpost, we shall be explaining the four primary purposes of collaboration. We will also be explaining the different components of effective collaboration and the various forms of collaboration in an organization. It is through collaboration that organizations can achieve their goals at a faster rate and thus create more useful products for consumers.
What are the four primary purposes of collaboration?
The four primary purposes of collaboration are:
- To become more informed
- To make better decisions
- To solve problems smoothly
- To manage projects efficiently
Through collaboration, team members can work together in order to achieve organizational goals. There might be many social processes involved in the collaboration, such as communication and interaction, giving and receiving feedback and also solving problems and making decisions. The primary purposes of collaboration are discussed briefly below:
To become more informed
Through the process of collaboration, the team members can be aware of the various happenings in the organization. They can also gain information about the project itself and what it actually entails. When information is more transparent and accessible in the organization, it can encourage team members to be accountable and responsible.
To make better decisions
Employees and team members may need to make frequent decisions in their work processes. Leaders and managers have decision-making as one of their main duties. Through the collaboration process, operational decisions for the day-to-day activities, and managerial decisions for the right use of resources and tools can be taken easily and efficiently.
To solve problems smoothly
Problems and challenges may arise often in the organization. With the help of collaboration, employees can face these challenges easily and overcome the problems. They can also view the problem or issue from multiple angles and perspectives and figure out alternatives to come to a practical solution that is feasible for them.
To manage projects efficiently
Project management is impossible without teamwork, coordination and collaboration. Since it requires many skills and tasks to be accomplished, organizations are increasingly using project management systems which can lessen the workload drastically for managers. Through project management systems, team members can also communicate and collaborate with each other.
Different components of effective collaboration
Effective collaboration has many different components. Some of these components are described as follows:
Awareness of the shared goal
For the team members to collaborate and work together effectively, they need to be aware of the goal and what they need to achieve. They also need to know their individual goals and responsibilities in the goal achieving process. If leaders do not explain their motives clearly, the team members may not be motivated to collaborate.
Motivation to achieve the goal
The team members need to be highly motivated and committed to achieving the goal. This requires a letting go of personal ego which can hinder employees from working on the shared goal. While setting goals, leaders and managers need to ensure they align the goals with the personalities and personal goals of the team members to promote stronger commitment.
Self-management to work
The team members should also be great self-starting and self-managing their tasks and schedules to achieve the shared goal. However, for team members to be good at self-managing or self-synchronization, they need to have great awareness about their own personalities. They might also require some healthy autonomy from their leaders and managers.
High levels of participation in collaboration
For collaboration to be effective and purposeful, the team members need to actively participate and engage in the collaborative practices. This can be promoted by the leaders demonstrating this practice in their daily tasks, thus inspiring their team members to also do so. When the team members are actively participative, the collaboration is bound to be successful.
Finding a consensus
While conflicts might arise between team members now and then, there needs to be quick resolution of these disputes. Otherwise, this can lead to long-standing conflicts and resentments between team members. In order to find a consensus and meet in the middle, the team members should be equipped with the right negotiation and compromising skills.
Idea sharing in the team
Ideas and information need to be shared in a team that is aiming at effective collaboration. If ideas are not shared, the organization might miss out on innovative products and designs that can bring profit for the company and solutions for the public. Team leaders and managers need to encourage idea sharing by creating ample opportunities like discussions, brainstorming, etc.
Diversity as a resource
For collaboration to be successful, the diversity of the team members needs to be seen as a valuable asset. Through diversity of cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs and languages, more ideas and perspectives can be brought to the table. This further enables the organization to create meaningful and relatable products that have high value with the consumers.
Shared power and influence
The power and influence in a collaborative team is shared. This means the various group processes are taken care of by all the team members rather than just the leader. However, the leader of the group might have the final say in these matters. Thus, the opinions and suggestions of the entire team are taken when it comes to problem-solving or decision-making.
Forms of collaboration in an organization
Collaboration can take mainly two forms in an organization, and they are:
Synchronous collaboration happens when the employees of the organization interact with each other in real-time. This means they can work on tasks and files at the same time together. This type of collaboration ensures that there are no delays in responses and thus is highly preferred when it comes to tasks that require urgency and immediacy.
Asynchronous collaboration happens when the employees interact in non-real time. This means they would be accessing the workspace at their convenience. In this type of collaboration, there might be great delays in receiving responses from the team members. Thus, asynchronous collaboration is not preferred for emergencies.
In this blogpost, we have explained the four primary purposes of collaboration. We have also explained the different components of effective collaboration and the various forms of collaboration in an organization.
Frequently asked questions: (What are the four primary purposes of collaboration?)
What are the five features of a collaborative relationship?
The five features of a collaborative relationship are:
There is clear and open communication
Clear and open communication is the foundation of collaboration. If the team members are not rightly informed, they will not be transparent with each other. This will reduce the inter-dependency in the team, thus reducing the collaboration between the different team members. Both leaders and team members need to communicate clearly and concisely with each other.
There is mutual trust between the members
Mutual trust and respect is another fundamental aspect of collaboration. If the team members are not trusting of the management and the organization, then they will not effectively collaborate to achieve the goal. At the same time, if the team members do not trust each other, they will not support each other and ask for guidance and resources which will inhibit collaboration.
The team members are committed to the goal
The team members need to show high commitment to the goal if the project needs to be successful. For the team members to be committed to the goal, they need to understand the meaning behind it and what it aims to achieve. When team members relate deeply to the goal, they will collaborate effectively to accomplish it.
There is high accountability and responsibility
The team members need to be highly accountable for their individual tasks and also in managing their responsibilities. When the team shows high levels of accountability in their work, there are bound to be lesser errors and areas for mistakes in the project. In this manner, the goals can be achieved efficiently and effectively.
There are tools to collaborate with one another
Organizations also use digital collaboration tools in order to help teams collaborate with each other. These tools can assist team members in communicating with each other, sharing files and documents easily, accessing information on the database quicker and also in tracking work progress as well as project management.
What are the principles of collaboration?
The main principles of collaboration are:
Practice active listening
Listening is an important part of the communication process. However, active listening takes it up a notch. Through this process, the receiver listens to the speaker with the intention of clearly understanding the message and not just responding to it. Active listening thus reduces misunderstanding and can create stronger team cohesion in the group.
Teams are becoming largely diverse and composed of individuals from various cultural backgrounds, ethnicities and religious beliefs. When team members understand and accept diversity, they are exposed to multiple perspectives and ideas they would have not encountered before. This can be a valuable asset for not just the team but for the entire organization.
Aim for individual growth
While leaders and managers are quick to throw the focus on the organizational goals and vision, they also need to aim at the individual growth of the employee. When the employee grows, so does the organization. It also helps to tailor the shared team goal with the personal goals of the employee in order to bring stronger commitment and responsibility to the team.
Allow teams to collaborate
Leaders and managers should know when to intervene in the group and when to step back. If the leader is always hovering nearby, there are high chances of employees finding it hostile and interpreting it as micromanagement. For teams to collaborate effectively, the leaders need to step back and allow them to collaborate and work together.
Integrate collaboration into the work process
The collaboration strategies and techniques need to be integrated into the work process of the team. If the team members need to work extra hours or donate more energy for the process of collaboration alone, they might not show enthusiasm or commitment to the process. In this manner, the collaboration can fail.
Demonstrate collaborative practices
The best way to get team members to collaborate with each other is for the leaders to advocate and demonstrate collaborative practices in their work daily. This does not only mean communicating and interacting with the team members closely. It also means showing great work ethic, high integrity and great passion for the job.
What are 3 important skills for teamwork and collaboration?
The 3 important skills for teamwork and collaboration are:
- Ability to trust others and be trustworthy yourself
- Being tolerant of other beliefs and opinions
- Showing high self-awareness of strengths and weaknesses
If you like this blogpost, please leave your questions and comments in the space below.