As borders are less and less relevant, projects more complex and global, the professional world sometimes forces us to collaborate with colleagues we might not now, colleagues with different temperaments and habits, different opinions and so on.
These situations are a great chance for both personal and professional growth, but they can also be challenging and stressful. This only gets worse if the team members aren’t sure how to work together, and there are additional challenges regarding short deadlines or project complexity.
Luckily, if you make an effort to create a working relationship built on collaboration and team spirit, things will fall into its place. Try these tips when working with colleagues, so you all feel better and be more productive.
1. Start well at the very beginning
It’s important to have good structures and team dynamic in place from the very beginning. Try to develop and nurture collaborative environment from the very beginning. If you’re a manager or a team leader, one of your most important tasks is to facilitate this. If you’re a team member, remember that the whole team plays an important role when it comes to work atmosphere and try to be positive, productive and help out your fellow colleagues.
2. Clarify roles and deadlines
It’s important to avoid overlappings, confusion and misunderstandings by being clear about who should do what, when and how. This will help everyone be less lost and more productive.
3. Be honest about mistakes – give and take criticism gracefully
It is normal that we all make mistakes. But how we deal with them and what we learn from them is what makes a difference. If you’ve made a mistake, be honest about it and try to fix it. Feel free to ask for help, communicate and analyze. If you have a leading role, always admit when you make mistakes and ask for your team members to call you out if you violate the team norms – this will set a great example for accountability.
Don’t be afraid to give criticism, but remember to do it in a constructive way. Foster environment where it is ok to talk about challenges, mistakes and problems in order to overcome them and improve both individually and as a team.
4. Craft simple goals that are outcome-oriented
When a goal is complicated, it can lead to differences in interpretation, misunderstandings and leave room for errors. That’s why it’s important to have simple and concrete goals that are focused on the results rather than just another item on the to-do list. Go the extra mile to make sure everyone is clear about the wanted result, but also keep reviewing the goals in real time.
5. Create (work) space together as a team
Whether it’s online space for collaboration, physical space or a metaphorical ‘space to work together and be in sync’ – let the whole team take a part in building it and taking ownership in it. The online workspace shouldn’t be a responsibility of the administrative assistant alone, but the whole team should work together to choose the tools that work best for them.
If you’re looking for an online tool for collaboration, you can try CollaboraZon and get a free trial period. It is a single solution to help teams collaborate and be productive, thanks to simple and easy-to-use interface with powerful features like sharing files, giving feedback, exchanging messages, creating events and more.