Working with a team is inevitable in most work environments, but it isn’t always a puppies and roses experience. More often than not you probably want to commit serious acts of crime on certain team members or you just flat out don’t care about the project the team is working on. This means you need get your team to “stop, collaborate, and listen.” Vanilla Ice knew what he was talking about.
Collaboration amongst team members can make or break a company. If you have a boss who is overly “bossy” or disengaged team members, you are in for a world of hurt. Do you find yourself saying, “Awe shucks, that sounds like my company?” If so, follow these 4 tips to help you overcome poor collaboration.
1. Drop all titles.
When you have too many chiefs and not enough Indians you start to run into “title” battles. No one wants to listen to what needs to be done and everyone is delegating. Let there be one chief, who leads and not dictates, and many Indians who are on the same playing field.
2. Any idea is a good idea.
Don’t stifle an individuals creativity by telling them their idea was ‘stupid’. Accept all ideas and then determine which line up with the current project. Keep the other ideas in a vault to pull out later when needed. NEVER ever tell someone their idea is ‘stupid’ that is a sure fire way to stomp out any future input that an individual may have. And you sound like a jerk. Accept their idea, even if you think it is ridiculous, and move on.
3. Keep em’ small and efficient.
Does the term “two heads are better than one” ring a bell? Well it should. Your team should consist of a few more than two heads, maybe around four, but not too many. When you get too many heads involved on a project you run the risk of leaving individuals out, etc. So keep project groups small and intimate for better results in the collaboration department.
4. Organization of all that knowledge.
That’s right. You need a quick, efficient, easy to use knowledge-sharing tool. You have all of these great ideas, documents full of valuable content, and other forms of information you need to store and share amongst your team. A place where everyone feels like they can contribute and ask questions without hierarchical boundaries. Hint: Try Bloomfire.
Lets recap what you learned about bettering collaboration within your company. First, you will play an equal role. Second, don’t be a jerk; accept all ideas with an open mind. Third, create a small and efficient team. Lastly, find the perfect knowledge sharing and collaboration tool for your team.
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