It’s hard to escape the natural human tendency to bask in the limelight of success; revel in the glow of winning, yet despite our inclination to take the bows and rally to the second curtain call – the truth is we never really reach the summit all on our own.
Achievement comes from collaboration.
Winning is a cumulative process that develops over time given the right combination of resources, especially human resources. In the workplace, team collaboration is essential. Nobody does it on their own. Each person is an integral moving part of the machine, moving ever forward toward the goal. If one component is weak or lacking, it affects all the others. It slows the machine and the end goal is diminished.
So, in an imperfect world, how do you achieve true collaboration in the workplace?
Start with people who are reliable and have solid skill sets for the job at hand. Combine those with individuals who truly care; people who can get out of their own way so the business of achieving the goals of the work are achievable. Leave the ego outside. Come in and join the team.
There must always be leaders. Some are born to lead, others to follow. The team leader is the point person who keeps it all going. They know how to listen well and insist everyone do the same. They recognize the strengths in team members, so delegating is a skill they know.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” — Michael Jordan
Sharing information should be intuitive, but it doesn’t come naturally for everyone. The team leader encourages information sharing and is open to ideas and input from the entire team. Setting the guidelines of a team project comes on day one. This creates a comfort level of equality throughout the timeline of the job.
There will be disruptions and there will be conflict, so having a conflict resolution plan is important. This serves as an arbitration process to get the machine back on track and moving forward to the ultimate goal – the goal of the team.
Collaboration in the workplace is more important than ever these days. Acknowledging differences, accepting compromise, and keeping an eye on why you’re there in the first place can result in a job well done and a sense of shared pride among the entire team when you cross the finish line – together!