Preparing Your Team for Collaboration

Preparing your team for collaboration is one of the most significant factors in moving forward cohesively. And one of the common misconceptions is that teamwork comes naturally.

Example: Leadership may give a directive to “work together as a team,” but unless genuine cooperation is part of the mix, it most likely is not a true team effort with all parties engaged for the company’s benefit.

Can a business be successful without collaboration? Yes, but is it sustainable? First, it’s important not to jump immediately into the “blame game” when the team effort doesn’t go as smoothly as you had hoped. It doesn’t mean your employees are being difficult; it could simply mean they just don’t know how to come together as a group.

If that’s the case, great! It means you have the opportunity to provide them with the skills and tools to be better equipped. There are many third-party programs where you could bring in outside assistance, but there are other avenues to try first before you invest in those resources.

And, ALWAYS keep in mind that you’re dealing with people, not machines. There are many variables, and if you keep an open mind, you’ll find that bringing everyone together won’t be the battle you anticipate.

Outline the Goal

This part is placed primarily on leadership. Start with a smaller team-oriented task so that:
  • #1 it isn’t overwhelming
  • #2 once you fine-tune the process, you can duplicate it for more extensive projects
The above step is critical to set things up for success; you MUST be clear about the task objective in your mind first. Without that clarity, there’s no way you can expect your team to understand the goals.

Get Buy-in From the Team

First, to open the lines of communication by ensuring all parties involved that as everyone works toward a cohesive workplace, leadership agrees it will be a culture of non-judgment. Once established, you’ll be amazed at how open your team is to learning and self-assessing areas needing improvement.
When you foster an environment where team members can freely share ideas, you will close the disconnection gap. It won’t happen overnight, but if allowed to run its course, the outcomes from this new freedom will be demonstrated in a more results-oriented workplace.

Faith in Your Team

One of the most challenging parts of turning the reins over is taking a step back and allowing the team to do the work. When you hover or question every move, it stifles creativity and shows that you don’t trust your team. Will they make mistakes? Yes, of course! Will they realize they need to try a different direction if it doesn’t work initially? That’s not always certain. But, if you keep the lines of communication open and encourage everyone to work together, they’ll do what it takes for the desired outcome without fear of repercussion.
If your team feels there’s a place for constructive discussions on collaboration, everyone will feel proud to contribute as part of a bigger team.
What will you do to foster collaborative and cooperative energy in your company?