How well your team is able to collaborate can be a huge indicator in terms of its success. A team that works well together isn’t just more likely to hit its goals, but it’s also way more likely to enjoy the ride. Of course, creating a team doesn’t guarantee collaboration. (Although that would be nice.) In order to get the most out of your team and foster successful team collaboration, you have to keep collaboration at the top of your list, creating an environment that promotes it from start to finish, inside and out.
Why should cultivating successful team collaboration be at the top of your list?
When asked to define collaboration, most people will agree that it’s all about working effectively together. And, while that is true, there’s so much more to it than just that. When teams focus on collaboration, innovation is a natural byproduct. Not only are goals met, but new (better) solutions are found. The better your team can collaborate, the better chances you have of your team sticking together, which is huge in terms of sustainable growth.
If you want to get ahead (and stay ahead) of your top competition, then you 100% need to ensure that your making healthy collaboration a priority.
Collaboration + Project Management = Unlimited Potential
When projects consist of several moving parts, it’s critical that you have a smart project management system in place. When your project management system is working efficiently, delivering projects should be streamlined and simple – and success should be a natural outgrowth. But, on an even more subtle level, your project management system should foster collaboration, so that at each step it’s clear who’s doing what and when it’s needed. As a result, your team will feel accomplished each time a project is completed, knowing that they played an important role by seeing how all of the pieces came together.
Needless to say, understanding this equation and actually solving it for your team are two very different things.
To put intelligent project management in place that lends itself to enthusiastic collaboration, you need to keep a few things in mind.
Well, actually, you need to keep ten things in mind.
These are the 10 must-haves for successful team collaboration
1. Clear Communication.
Communication is at the top of this list for a reason – it’s critical. If your team doesn’t have a clear understanding of what’s needed to complete a project, then collaboration is nearly impossible. The better you are able to communicate with your team, whether in an office or virtually, the easier it will be for them to work together. Before starting any project, map out all of the responsibilities, as well as your expectations – and then make sure everyone on your team understands.
2. Expert Leadership.
Great leadership doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and practice to gather the skill set you need to be great. But, no matter where you are on your leadership journey, you can always be working to get better. Each day, focus on one thing that will make you more knowledgeable, more organized, and more personally in-tune with the needs of the people on your team.
3. Careful Compromises.
A team is made up of individuals, all of whom bring their unique perspective and ideas. Even when a team is working well together, there will always need to be some sort of compromise in order to keep projects moving along. Team members who don’t feel heard will have a difficult time compromising with others. But, so will those members who feel like they are more important or always right. As a leader, do your part to consider all sides and then work with the team to create a healthy compromise for everyone.
4. Active Engagement.
Just like an audience won’t pay attention to just anyone on stage, you need to make sure that your team has a reason to be engaged with what’s going on. The more you’re able to explain roles and responsibilities to each and every member of your team, the more they’ll be happy to give you (and the project you’re working on) their attention. Remember, people want to be engaged because it’s what keeps work from getting boring!
5. Steady Reliability.
When your team members understand the role they have and why it’s important, it will help them show up. Having them own their responsibility fosters reliability, which creates a safe environment for true collaboration to take place.
6. Real Diversity. If a team is made up of homogenous players, then it’s bound to lose. Teams are effective only when each position (or role) is filled by someone who is unique – both in skills and personality. As your team grows, remember that you want people who are different, especially if collaboration is a top priority.
7. A+ Attitude.
The mentality of competitive team sport athletes vs. athletes that compete by themselves is very different. In order for your team to be able to effectively collaborate, they need to show up with a part-of-the-team attitude. This means that they are committed to the overall success and outcome of the project, cheering on each member because they understand that what can be done by a team is greater than what can ever be achieved on their own.
8. Conflict Control.
If a team is fighting, collaboration won’t happen. As a leader of a team, you need to understand that it’s your duty to control any conflicts that arise, looking for the best win-win outcome for everyone. Of course, if you can help teach your team members how to effectively control conflicts within the team on their own (especially the small ones) it will enable you to avoid micro-managing and, as an added bonus, it will actually help to bring your team members closer together.
9. Rolling Dialogue.
The more openly you communicate with your team – and they communicate with you – the better you’ll be able to collaborate. Period. Through open communication you earn trust, grow, reflect, and become stronger. Make an effort to encourage regular communication between individuals and teams in order to take your group to the next level.
10. Easy Messaging.
If you understand that open and regular communication is key, then you’ll understand why a team messaging tool is so important. In order for your team to collaborate effectively, they need to be able to get in touch with each other – and in the easiest way possible. For most teams, the best solution is to adopt a project management tool, like Heycollab, which offers streamlined communication in the same place all of your projects are getting done. This simple switch can heighten collaboration by providing total team transparency, which allows for a real sense of responsibility and ownership without ever losing sight of the team as a whole.
Heycollab is an incredible tool for collaboration because it allows your team, wherever they are in the world, to get to know each other – who they are, what they do, and how they help projects get finished. Through easy-to-use team messaging and intelligent project management, Heycollab makes getting work done fun, whether you have a team of four or 400.
As a leader of a team, Heycollab puts everything you need at your fingertips and in one place. From assigning tasks to catching up with a remote team member, Heycollab makes a difference in how projects get done because it is designed specifically for collaboration.
Your team is made up of individuals who all bring something unique to the table. But, the only way you can maximize their skills is to know what they are and where they can be best utilized. The smarter your project management system is, the easier it will be for you to bring the best out of your team. Not only does a tool like Heycollab bring everyone on your team together, but it also allows you to take control, charting your course and steering your ship so that the success you’ve always known was possible becomes a reality.