You’ve heard the expression, “teamwork makes the dream work!” And we understand what you’re thinking. The expression itself is a bit hackneyed and may make you grimace a little.
However, the sentiment underlying the term is valid. According to research, 75 percent of employees value collaboration skills, which is perhaps why they are regarded as one of the top four most crucial abilities for employees’ future success.
But what are the essential collaboration abilities, and how can they be developed?
What Exactly Are Collaboration Skills?
To put it simply, collaboration abilities are what allow you to work nicely with others. Collaboration skills, by extension, enable a group of people with distinct or complementary knowledge to coordinate and allocate their activities in order to achieve a common goal.
“The whole is larger than the sum of its parts,” Aristotle said. That principle can be applied to the importance of collaborative abilities.
7 Different Types of Collaboration Skills
Collaboration has many facets. There is a lot that goes into doing it properly. If you want to assure success in collaborative scenarios, whether you’re alone pro working from a coworking space or the leader of a team at a multinational corporation, focus on refining these seven core collaboration abilities.
1. Listening Actively
As professionals, we don’t always listen to one another. Instead, we simply wait our turn to speak. Active listening is required to guarantee that everyone is on the same page and understands one another. You may put this into practice by doing the following:
- Striving to Learn: Approach conversations with the goal of learning rather than informing.
- Avoiding Multitasking: Give your undivided attention to the person who’s speaking. Don’t multitask. Stay present in the conversation.
- Drilling Down to the Details: Proactively ensure you’ve got all the details. Ask direct, specific questions that focus on the conversation–things like, “How did you come to this conclusion?” “How would this work?” Or “Tell me more about…”
- Summarizing and Fact-Checking: Reiterate points to commit them to your memory. Fact-check things you feel unclear on or don’t understand. Follow up on points they’ve made to ensure you’ve got it right.
Another important cooperation skill is your capacity to communicate effectively with your colleagues.
This entails understanding how individual team members prefer to communicate and putting mechanisms in place to suit them.
Some people, for example, may not feel comfortable speaking in gatherings, so make sure you offer alternate channels for them to contribute, such as email or direct messaging. In this manner, your most outspoken coworkers will not have a monopoly on the process.
True collaboration necessitates the ability of everyone to contribute.
It also entails being able to explain your feelings, thoughts, and expectations effectively and gently.
Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential for teamwork.
Collaboration may be a difficult process, and collaborative projects do not always proceed in a straight path.
As a result, your capacity to adapt, pivot, and rethink your strategy is critical to successful collaboration.
When things go wrong, strive to keep emotions out of the equation. Gather your team, assess the problem, evaluate it objectively, and collaborate to come up with a fresh solution.
When things get tough, it’s easy to give up, but it’s vital that you learn to be a cool, calm, and collected collaborator.
4. Consider the Big Picture
You’ll never prosper in a collaborative atmosphere if you don’t see the forest for the trees.
To put it another way, teamwork necessitates that each member of the team comprehend the big picture of what they’re all working toward.
As a result, they will be able to understand and appreciate how their own contributions and actions, as well as those of their colleagues, contribute to the team’s ability to attain the common goal.
To ensure that your colleagues understand the big picture, the main purpose and desired outcome of your group’s collaboration should be explicitly and frequently reinforced.
5. Engage in Healthy Debate
Collaboration isn’t always dependent on being nice in the traditional sense. Healthy debate can sometimes result in the best teamwork.
The word to remember here is “healthy.”
When you have a team consisting of people with diverse experiences, viewpoints, and expertise, conflict can be beneficial. Contributing their own viewpoints can spark thoughts and fresh ways of thinking about topics that might not have occurred otherwise.
How can you keep a healthy debate going?
It should be more constructive than combative. Questions and challenges should be posed with curiosity and discovery in mind, rather than putting others down or asserting authority.
Debates should be watched, controlled, and terminated if they become unproductive.
6. Delegation, Goal Setting, and Evaluation
They are all part of the process. Accountability is essential when a group of individuals is working toward a common goal.
A portion of this is due to big-picture thinking. However, it must be supported by clearly stated goals, quantitative success metrics, and predetermined methods of evaluating them.
Ascertain that everyone understands who is in charge of what, when their deliverables are due, how their actions affect the rest of the team and the project as a whole, and what success looks like for any specific assignment.
7. Capitalizing on Individual Strengths
The most effective teamwork is founded on a thorough grasp of each team member’s unique talents and abilities.
When you have a thorough grasp of each person’s unique worth, the team can be more effectively mobilized to achieve a goal, making the entire process more collaborative.
You’re bound to come across a situation where some level of collaboration is required in almost any professional function or work environment. And by mastering these seven collaboration skills, you’ll be better positioned to contribute meaningfully to the project’s or goal’s success.
Source: Launch Work Space
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