Working collaboratively is an essential part of building any business. After all, a company or organization that is built from the ground-up with just a single person behind it all is extremely rare.
Yet, working effectively with colleagues can be challenging when you all have different ideas, opinions and world views that impact how you think a business should be run or how you should work on your current strategy. Overcoming your differences and working effectively together does not always come naturally and can be something that you have to work towards over your work career together.
With these simple tips, you can start working collaboratively with more effect.
1. Listen Carefully
Listening is the most important part of collaborative working. It can be easy to slip into your own thoughts and focus on what you want to say and what you want to bring to the project, but it is vital that you listen to your teammates first and foremost.
If you and your colleagues are not effective listeners, then miscommunications can easily happen and cause your project to fall apart.
Listen carefully and with intent to what your co-workers have to say and encourage them to do the same to each other. Take notes of the most important points. This way, you can avoid repetition, and you can add your own input to their points without intruding on what they have brought to the project.
2. Share in Real Time
Sharing both your thoughts and your documents is essential for any kind of collaborative work. If your company utilizes a cloud service system, take advantage of this and share files with each other regularly to keep each other up to date and in the loop. You can make amendments to each other’s files and work together closely. However, ensure that your company invokes an effective security system to keep your data safe if it contains sensitive information. You can find more information at McAfee about what is cloud computing security.
3. Set Clear Roles
A team project can fall apart when the members are unsure of who is doing what. Before you embark on any individual work, draw up a spreadsheet and detail exactly who is doing what task. This way, you can avoid any duplicate work and prevent any work from slipping through the cracks because you all thought that somebody else was going to do it.
4. Set Goals and Deadlines
Each person within the project is going to work at their own pace and it can be frustrating when others in your team have not finished their tasks when you have been done for a while.
Set a deadline for when you are going to regroup and be clear what tasks should be done by that point, and to what standard. By setting goals and deadlines, you can prevent turning up to the follow-up meeting with a draft of your task, while everyone else has put the finishing touches to theirs.
Working collaboratively can be very rewarding if done correctly; you need to remember that each member of the team is an individual with their own strengths and ideas.