From finding the best way to solve a problem, to helping everyone get on top of their workloads, it’s all about collaboration.
Workplaces are embracing collective working because it can make a world of difference to their success. It can help to distribute work more evenly, improve everyone’s abilities, share responsibilities and increase motivation.
However, it’s one thing to know collaboration is a good thing, but another to do it well. Here are five skills that could transform collaboration in your workplace:
Everyone involved in a meeting or discussion should be encouraged to communicate openly and freely. Letting others do all the talking or keeping relevant know-how to yourself is not collaboration. Actively listening to other participants, readily sharing your knowledge and offering ideas is.
2. Good questions
From facilitator to participant, asking the right questions will produce the best results. Good questions will help to guide a discussion along, get it started and keep it on track. They will also help people to think differently and provide a whole range of information that they might otherwise not have.
Open ended questions are often better. Asking people what they think works best, or their thoughts on a subject, will encourage more open responses than questions that invite yes/no answers.
Phrasing questions in language that most people are comfortable with, using minimal jargon, will make the session easier for everyone.
It’s also recommended to keep questions neutral, for example by asking what people think of a venue rather than guiding their answer by asking whether they think that venue is great
3. Asking for help
Making people aware that their contribution is valuable to the business is key. Putting an issue to the team and asking for their help to resolve it demonstrates that their involvement matters.
Breaking the issue down into individual parts, or getting the ball rolling with a range of possible solutions may help to get everyone talking, encourage people to come up with better ideas, or develop into an answer during the discussion.
4. Giving and taking directions
Collaboration can often lead to people needing to give and take direction from each other.
This can be achieved successfully if you give as much context as possible when making a request of a colleague, provide a reasonable level of detail and ask politely and professionally.
If you’re on the receiving end of direction from a colleague, responding to this positively will help you both. Listening actively, even pretending to yourself that you’ll need to do a quiz on it afterwards, asking any questions if needed and being respectful are all vital.
5. Starting and finishing well
Structuring any collaborative session so people know what to expect and recognise its’ value is critical to future enthusiasm.
Discussions should start with a few words from the facilitator on the purpose of the meeting, how long it will last and the topic to be covered. Wrapping up should leave everyone with a clear sense of next steps and who will be doing what.
With Banner you can collaborate better
For more details contact your account manager, email contact.banner@BannerUK.com or phone 0843 538 3311 (UK) 1800 905 907 (ROI)