Improving Collaboration Skills In The Workplace
Why learn collaboration skills?
Collaboration can be like a game of sports, as in tennis or golf you require a certain degree of skill. The skill you start with is often basic knowledge from watching games or playing in the school sports team. In order to improve your skills you need to train often, either with a coach or self-practice. Start to think about teams you are involved in. Did you enjoy meeting with the team each time? If not, why not? Or do you think a particular aspect of the team worked well, what did you like about the team, was it their collective efforts and productivity, or something else?
“Do you just show up, offer your thoughts, do something toward a common goal and just hand it it?” (Kroenke, Bunker, & Wilson, 2014, p.404) Feel free to dot down some ideas and comment below. “Think about the ways that you interact with your teammates; think about the structure of your team; think about how you handle conflict.” (Kroenke, Bunker, & Wilson, 2014, p.404) Here, we will be considering how you can improve your collaboration skills, in particular what are good collaborative behaviour traits.
What is collaboration?
“Collaboration occurs when two or more people work together to achieve a common goal, result or work product.” (Kroenke, Bunker, & Wilson, 2014, p.405) Teamwork arises because individuals acknowledge that they are more productive when working in groups, and even more productive when their groups are collaborative. What do I mean when I say groups are collaborative?
Well, their can be coordination and communication between the group members, working toward a common goal. However, coordination and communication isn’t pulling collaboration together for us yet, as you will see in the following example. “Suppose the team meets and divides the work into sections and then team members work independently on their individual pieces.” (Kroenke, Bunker, & Wilson, 2014, p.405) Only, at the last minute the team puts their ideas together, most likely resulting in varied answers without any consistency.
IMPORTANCE OF FEEDBACK & ITERATION
Collaboration involves such feedback from the group and repetition from each member to review and revise. “The effort proceeds in a series of steps, or iterations, in which one person produces something, others comment on what was produced, a revised version is produced, and so forth.” (Kroenke, Bunker, & Wilson, 2014, p.405) This feedback process allows for constant improvement and modification to products or processors. Review processes also requires time management skills, mostly projects take place over a period of weeks.
CRITICAL COLLABORATION DRIVERS:
- Content management
- Workflow control
Kroenke, D., Bunker, D., & Wilson, D. (2014). Experiencing MIS, (3rd ed.). Pearson.
Featured image supplied free from Pixabay.