A warm welcome to the team collaboration section of the web site. The Oxford dictionary defines collaboration as “The action of working with someone to produce something”
To promote collaboration within your team as a leader try and make sure that everyone feels involved and included. Make sure all understand the problem you are trying to solve or the project you are aiming to complete. Why is it being done? What are the benefits? Get all on the same page when it comes to understanding.
(Photo Credit: Chris Lott – Flickr CC)
Encourage the team to communicate regularly and openly with each other so that everyone understands where they fit into the team and so that everyone understands everyone else’s opinions, ideas and thoughts on the work in hand.
As a leader its your job to ensure that individuals don’t dominate conversations and work efforts. It’s also your job to ensure that the quieter team members get an opportunity to contribute. Make sure that no one is afraid of speaking up.
It’s often good practice to decide on a couple of people who can make decisions. This decision making power can and should change from week to week or meeting to meeting.
What To Do When A Team Member Isn’t Collaborating
When a team member isn’t collaborating be careful not to judge them too quickly. Don’t jump to any assumptions or make any decisions until you have first asked some open ended questions. Try and understand what motivates them and how they think they could best contribute to the teams efforts.
What does the employee enjoy doing? What is he / she passionate about? Do they have any fresh ideas that the team could adopt? What do they dislike? What annoys or irritates them? Try to get to the root of the problem that is causing their lack of enthusiasm and then ask yourself if there is there anything that you can do as a leader to help this individual?