Would you describe yourself as a good or even great collaborator?
In a rapidly evolving and competitive world where innovation is key it has become increasingly important to encourage creativity and cross-fertilisation of ideas. Continual improvement relies on fresh thinking and implementing new ways of doing things.
Collaboration brings people together, champions equity and helps to fuel an open environment where we can all feel valued and respected for our diversity of experience.
Collaborating well with others and pulling together as a team with a common purpose can be highly motivating and helps us to feel more energised and involved. This can also a have a highly positive impact on our overall wellbeing.
Learning how to collaborate well will help us to improve our team-building skills and build a useful network to achieve better results.
So here are my five top tips for being a great collaborator…
1. Embrace and enjoy collaboration
Sometimes we may prefer to work on our own and we may not always welcome the experience of collaborating with others. More and more in business the need to collaborate is being identified as a vital ingredient for success, so it is helpful to positively embrace collaboration. Exploring and clearly understanding the benefits of collaboration is the first step to being a great team member,
2. Manage your stress levels
We can be deeply affected by another person’s stress levels. When we are around people who are in a highly stressed state it can create a great deal of anxiety which can lead to conflict and even arguments.
Taking personal responsibility and being aware of our own stress levels is important, especially as burnout is so prevalent in the hectic world that we live in. Looking after our personal wellbeing and taking time for self-care will help us to be better collaborators.
3. Be well organised
Collaboration is about coordinating well with others, so it is important to be well organised and establish working systems that can be clearly communicated to others. If we are untidy and work in chaos this will hinder the progress of projects and make things difficult for other people within the team.
Being good at planning and time management will help us to be calmer and more in control. Respecting our own time as well as other people’s is very important. Being on time for meetings and well prepared is a fundamental part of great collaboration and good manners too!
4. Show appreciation
Taking some time to reflect on what other people are contributing and looking for opportunities to express our appreciation is a great way to motivate people. This can also encourage future collaborations.
One way to boost people’s wellbeing and morale is to show them that you value and appreciate what they do, and this is about recognising hard work and achievements. Sometimes just a simple “thank you” can make all the difference to someone else’s wellbeing.
5. Foster trust
Trust is essential for any successful collaboration and people need to feel psychologically safe about sharing thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Creating and maintaining an environment that fosters trust is so necessary for collaborations to thrive.
Fostering trust can also help us to be more open and receptive to different perspectives and the more open we are with each other the more we will be able to support each other. This in turn will result in more confident collaborations.
Collaboration can be so positive for our overall wellbeing and when everyone contributes and plays to their strengths and pulls together, problems can be solved faster and new opportunities created.
Liggy’s bite-sized book on “Collaboration” will be available from the 21st March 2023 and is available to pre order here – click here