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Good-to-Know Soft Skills: Collaboration

If you are a good workplace collaborator, you are prized by your employer because you are a goal achiever. Effective collaboration is a learned skill to maximize productivity by teaming with others. Don’t confuse collaboration with simple cooperation. Both are positive behaviors, but collaboration is proactive and heavy on taking initiative. Think of bicycle pedals. One pedal does not “cooperate” with the other. Instead, it is an equal push. This is collaboration. Enhance your ability to collaborate:

1) Know what each team member’s role will be.

2) Have fast and efficient ways of communicating to address key issues.

3) Create a tradition of team members seeking immediate clarification when unsure or unclear about tactics, tasks, or goals.

4) Spot conflicts early, and resolve them before moving forward.

5) Put group goals above an individual member’s personal reward for success. Failure to do so will create hidden agendas and adversely affect communication and lessen your achievements.

6) Good team collaborators are tolerant of each other’s quirks and shortcomings, but when personal behaviors threaten progress, make them a group concern for problem resolution.

Tracy Bussey | 5/16/2016

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