As much as technology has brought people together on social networks, it has also created highly individualized communication.
To drive healthy, productive collaboration, follow these 5 steps:
1: Define Outcomes and Expectations. Every desired outcome requires a roadmap for success. If you are bringing individuals together to collaborate, it’s essential to clearly define their roles and responsibilities. In addition, throughout the collaboration life-cycle, it’s important to revisit outcomes and expectations to ensure they haven’t changed. If they have, then the head collaborator must inform all team members of a change in direction.
2: Be Intentional with Your Language. The most important word to drive collaboration is “we.” “We” conveys that you are in it together; you are team of equals; you are invested in the success of the team and not just your own success. This is especially important in times of disagreement. A client was at an impasse with a partner regarding a project. Approaching the problem from a place of collaboration rather than blame diffused the defensiveness, and allowed the 2 parties to focus on the outcome that best served their client and their own organizations.
3: Create Strong Paper Trails. Following any meetings (internal or with customers), create a meeting recap outlining what was discussed, action items for all parties, and the next scheduled meeting date. If any stakeholders didn’t complete previous action items, keep them on the meeting recap and indicate that they are still open.
4: Show Up. This seems simple but it often fails. Often team members minimize the importance of their presence in a meeting, and tell themselves that they aren’t needed – but they are. All team members are essential. By skipping meetings, you set a precedent that others can skip, or that your time is more valuable than others. All contributions matter.
5: Appreciate and Acknowledge. Finally, throughout the collaborative effort, express appreciation for jobs well done for progress, teamwork, overcoming challenges,and results.
The best forms of collaboration don’t involve a screen. They involve person-to-person engagement. And while emojis feel good, a genuine smile from a human being feels even better.
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CEO, Successful Culture
“Taking Leaders from Triage to Transformation.”