May 4, 2023 5 Min Read
Unlock Your Potential: Harness the Power of Collaboration
Back in 2020, the world was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we were all shown just how important our approaches to teamwork and collaboration were.
Many of us surely understated its significance until then.
As businesses shut their company doors and employees are sent home to work remotely, open communication and engagement with others became crucial for business continuation.
Even today, with the world being in a somewhat normal place, companies still span the globe, millions work remotely, and more freelancers, entrepreneurs, and start-ups outsource their tasks.
The world is hyper-connected, and collaboration is vital for it all to run smoothly.
More so than ever.
But what does collaboration actually mean?
I can assure you it’s more than just a corporate buzzword, and today, we’re talking all about it, exploring what it is, and how you can use it to grow and scale your business and projects.
An Introduction To Collaboration
You don’t need me to tell you that collaboration means working together, but it’s important to remember that this is just the surface-level definition.
It goes far deeper than that.
Think of collaboration as more of a journey.
It’s when people come together and share their expertise and knowledge in creating a solution for a particular project or task. It’s the coming together of people towards a common goal.
This could be about educating and inspiring each other, working through problems, or even failing together.
However, while we all know the importance of collaboration at heart, it’s still often undervalued.
At the heart of any organization, as highlighted by Coach Gloria Er, is a tapestry of diverse talents and backgrounds. It’s collaboration that seamlessly binds these individuals, allowing for a confluence of varied perspectives aimed at a unified goal.
In truth, it’s a learned skill, and with many of us not proactively working on our collaboration skills, how we communicate and work with others impacts the business’s success.
Innovation is neither a formula nor an accident— it’s built by people.
The secret sauce in all great inventions is collaboration.
The Benefits Of Collaboration At Work
Working together has obvious benefits that most of us understand innately. However, without being clear on them, you can never truly work towards becoming a truly collaborative individual or team.
Share and Solve Problems With Others
What do you do when projects get stalled? You ask for help from your colleagues.
After all, two (or more) heads are better than one; we can get things done more efficiently with the help of others.
By pooling colleagues with different expertise and skill sets, problems can be resolved more effectively and efficiently.
When we are met with complex tasks or issues, we seek a wide range of input from others to help us find a solution. Having people with mixed skills and diverse backgrounds can eliminate further issues being raised.
Teams combine unique talents and skills with a group of individuals. One idea triggers another idea.
One opinion is challenged by another with a different viewpoint, thus creating a discussion. When a harmonious synergy is activated, innovation is created, and the possibility is endless.
Boost Morale and Bottom Lines
Businesses and employees share a common goal — to make money, and lots of it. How do you achieve that? By working together. It’s no good having an excellent leader without their team’s support and shared vision.
Studies show that 86% of employees and executives cite a lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. In other words, to succeed and achieve goals, it is necessary to cooperate with our colleagues.
This is why companies value cooperation.
When our combined efforts achieve a milestone or a win, we feel a sense of pride and joy. When we share the load with others, we share our triumph with them too. We pat each other’s back. We congratulate one another for the hard work and ultimately make any difficult and complex projects worthwhile.
Develop Meaningful Relationships
Life at work does not need to be laborious and tedious.
There are ways in which it can be made easier and actually fun.
At the end of the day, we spend 30% of our waking life at work, so it’s no coincidence that we naturally develop meaningful and lasting relationships with our colleagues.
It All Starts With Building Trust With One Another
Coach Gloria emphasizes the importance of authenticity and curiosity in fostering genuine workplace relationships. Approaching colleagues with genuine interest in their ideas and showing the willingness to initiate authentic conversations can go a long way.
Some companies organize team building exercises and all-expense ‘away days’ to encourage and develop good team collaboration among their employees. Why? Employees desire a strong sense of community. Once trust is built, employees find it difficult to leave as they form an unbreakable bond and loyalty with one another.
Trust is earned through incentives, reduced bureaucracy, and adequate autonomy.
When employees feel supported and trusted, they are willing to foster healthy collaboration with others, which can lead to providing value to customers.
Regularly working with colleagues from different teams opens up new channels of communication. It also creates an opportunity to learn new things, gain fresh insights, and understand their pain points, priorities, and even how they think.
This is extremely beneficial and valuable in the future of working relationships.
Collaboration Techniques To Get Things Done
As companies grow and scale, employees are faced with new challenges.
Since 2020, most organizations have adopted a hybrid working model whereby employees are no longer expected to operate in offices five days a week.
What this means is finding new ways of creating online and in-person spaces for open communication and connection to remain accessible for the smooth operation of the business.
Although there are pain points that employees face today around sustaining cooperation, there are ways in which organizations can encourage employees to help one another.
- Defining clear lines of responsibilities
This is particularly important for new hires, and an organizational chart can help with this. Knowing what they are doing makes it easier for everyone to know who to speak to when they need help.
- Listening is just as important as sharing your own opinion
A balanced approach when leading a meeting is key to ensuring every opinion is heard. Good collaboration requires receiving and giving feedback.
- Understanding different ways of working with other colleagues
Companies are made up of people at different life stages. Some have a young family, while others are beginning their careers. Regularly catching up and scheduling at least once a month in-person meetings can support everyone’s needs.
Creating a culture where everyone is encouraged to contribute, communicate and cooperate with others impacts the trajectory of business success. It’s a process that is worth investing in.
It’s a process that should start from when a project starts or when you onboard new hires.
Being proactive in your approach to collaboration lays the foundation of their learning experience, allows them to step out of their comfort zone, and helps boost their visibility in the company.
Over time, a collaborative environment at its best results in a synergy that leads to winning.