Collaboration and teamwork are indispensable parts of every successful business, community, or social setting. With the help of collaboration skills, different perspectives and qualities can be brought together to achieve a common goal.
Collaboration does not only take place at an office level. People collaborate all the time, subconsciously. For example, cleaning your house with your family members is also a form of teamwork.
To understand important collaboration skills, let’s first define “what is collaboration”?
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What Is Collaboration?
Collaboration means people working together to complete a task and meet a final goal. Each member working in the team possesses different collaborative skills at different levels. With all of these combined, a team can smoothly perform a group task.
Each of these collaborative skills is crucial for the success of the team. A group preparing a work presentation which is an example of collaboration is something we could find ourselves in.
One of the members may possess high interpersonal and leadership skills. That team member can help in organizing teamwork, delegating tasks, and holding everyone together on the same page.
Another team member may possess high communication skills and will be able to present for the group. Another one might be great at graphics and design, therefore, will be able to design the presentation.
This, which is an example of collaboration, shows that every person in a team brings their own qualities to the table.
When each member is used as per their abilities, the team succeeds. One person may not be able to do this alone since that person cannot possess all the skills at once, neither look at one project from so many perspectives.
Keep reading to find out the answer to the question “what are the 3 important skills for teamwork and collaboration?”
The Benefits of Collaboration
Collaboration brings many benefits! Some of them are:
1. Division of labor
Work is divided within a team. This means, one person does not have to do everything. As described earlier, it also means that each member performs a task suited to their qualities which helps the team finish smoothly and efficiently.
A group is able to work together and solve a common problems more easily. Each member can give their own idea and perspective allowing a pool of ways to tackle a problem.
One member in a team can provide constructive critique to the other which will help in improving the member’s work and the whole team’s task as a whole too.
4. Learning from each other
A team means a large number of talents, qualities, and skills. These can easily be shared between members. One member, who does not have a skill, can learn it from the other.
If a member knows how to work on Microsoft PowerPoint, his teammate can learn this skill from him, which is an example of collaboration.
What Are The Collaboration Skills?
Before you head onto the different collaboration skills, here is the collaboration skills definition.
Collaborative skills are skills or qualities that help a person cooperate, coordinate, and work with others in a team setup. These skills can be hard skills that are measurable and teachable such as writing, computer skills, etc. On the contrary, these can also be soft skills such as communication and interpersonal skills.
With the help of collaborative skills, one can efficiently work in a team of two or more members to achieve an end goal successfully. These skills not only help you interact and work with others, but they also allow you to very smoothly tackle all hurdles that come your way with your team.
For more information, check out this video.
Collaboration Skills Examples
So far, you have clearly understood the collaboration skills definition. Now, it’s time to look at some examples.
One way to collaborate for a team is to meet together and discuss ideas. Each member comes prepared with what they think is a great idea for their group task and what should be used to realize it, why their idea is worthy and why the team should use it.
This way, every idea is heard and the best ones are chosen for the project. Moreover, it provides a sense of motivation to each member for they know that their efforts are contributing to the success of the group. It is also a way to judge each member’s abilities, which is useful in future task delegation.
Finally, it also allows you to see which member is and which member is not contributing to the group and is simply a free-rider.
2. Discussion and team building
Collaboration means every member has a say in the team’s course of action. Instead of one person standing and lecturing the others, a collaborative open discussion is one where each member on the team not only presents their ideas and work, but it is also taken into account with full consideration.
This also enhances team building because you get to know each other and communicate well.
Types of Collaboration Skills
Among the many different collaborative skills, a simple question arises: what are the most important skills for teamwork and collaboration?
1. Communication skills
When it comes to teamwork, communication is the key. Every member has unique ideas and perspectives but these will be of no use when members do not clearly communicate among themselves.
To make communication successful, you need to be mindful of other people’s preferences in communicating. 40% of American adults are shy in group settings. This may hinder them from reaching their full potential. Therefore, communication is an essential collaboration skill in any team.
Communication skills include actively listening to others, and communicating verbally, non-verbally as well as in writing. Examples of these are speaking, body language and tone, and messaging or emails respectively.
Another very important collaborative skill is to be able to adapt to change. Collaboration teamwork never goes as planned, right? Everyone can agree.
Any obstacle can delay the course of a project and hinder productivity. Not only delays, but something that does not go as you wanted can create panic or hard feelings between members too. What should you do?
As a team member, you need to be calm and adapt to any form of change. Try to skip the freak-out stage of change and jump to collaborating and agreeing on a solution to your problem.
The most important tip here is to avoid blaming the failure of a task on one person. Even if one person’s mistake has caused an issue, a team needs to take full responsibility of it together. This not only enhances your spirit, but also speeds up problem-solving.
Open mindedness and the ability to accept ideas flexibly is another very crucial collaboration skill. Teamwork is a great way to do tasks and meet goals because of the collection of different people and their new, unique ideas and perspectives in one place. However, if you are unable to agree or listen to someone else’s views, you will never be a good collaborator.
Listening is very important. You may think your idea is the best for the group; however, listening to someone else might show that theirs is better. It may even shift your previous perspective and make it into a new and better one.
Know that teamwork is a learning experience and to be successful, your main goal should be to learn as much as you can along the way and contribute to the team to the best of your abilities.
This is the answer to “what are the 3 important skills for teamwork and collaboration?”. But that’s not all! Here are some other important types of collaboration skills:
4. Emotional Intelligence
Being emotionally intelligent is a very important skill to master. It means, you as a team member should be resilient. Obstacles should not tamper with your compassion and motivation. Moreover, you must not be offended easily. In a team, there are people who may want to bring you down. Don’t let them get to you.
At the same time, you can get offended by minor criticism that is likely to be constructive, do not take it personally. Be empathetic to others and try to resolve conflicts as diplomatically as possible.
5. Respect differences
You need to understand that every person is different. To be a good collaborator, you need to respect these differences be it gender, religion, culture, qualities, or simply a different body language, dressing, etc. Also, appreciate other people’s strengths and do not point out their weaknesses. If anything, help them overcome their weak points.
How To Improve Your Collaboration Skills?
Now you know what are the important skills for teamwork and collaboration. Next, it’s time to see how you can improve your own collaboration skills.
· Set Goals
As a collaborator, always set goals for yourself and the team. Decide what the team has to achieve, in how much time, and using what method. Keep room for errors as well. This way, collaboration will be as smooth as you can imagine.
· Be Flexible
No matter how passionate you are about your plans for the task, always know there will have to be some compromise. Be flexible. Be ready to give up on things every now and then, if it is good for the team. When you expect others to make compromises, you should make them too.
Teamwork and collaboration requires skills to be successful. Here, you have learnt what is collaboration, collaboration skills, what are the most important skills for teamwork and collaboration, and how you can be a better collaborator.
Use these helpful tips and employ these skills to shine as a collaborator. With that said, good luck with your teamwork!