5 ways to build and foster collaborative teams

Adopt these leadership behaviours to shape high performance teams that can execute well.

1. Set some ground rules
Effective collaboration requires structured processes and tools that help people efficiently engage with others across the organisation. As a leader you need to establish a few ground rules that will govern these interactions so as to not disturb the company setup and culture. Creating this framework at the beginning of a project reduces miscommunication and helps the team find solutions to issues that might arise in the future.

2. Build an environment of trust
Trust is crucial in creating a collaborative, efficient team. We’re talking about trust among team members as well as among different teams. It creates an encouraging atmosphere that promotes creativity and innovation. As a leader you can’t force your employees to participate. They have to feel secure enough to share their ideas, experiment and take risks knowing their leader as well as teammates have their back. Show them that it’s okay to make mistakes, that you won’t judge them harshly for their failings. Help them learn from these mistakes. These actions will earn you your team’s respect and loyalty.

3. Provide skills training
Invest in your employees and help them learn the skills needed to excel. Build a supportive atmosphere that encourages them to constantly grow and thus add to the team’s skillset. Clear roadblocks so that employees can attend seminars, participate in conferences, be part of a mentorship activity, etc. The idea is to enhance their abilities so to provide personal as well as professional growth. Such policies will create productive employees who are eager to participate and contribute to team and company goals.

4. Coach your team
To build a strong, efficient team leaders need to relinquish some of their control and stop micromanaging situations. This encourages the team to make decisions, take risks and learn from mistakes. It means leaders also need to know when to break away from the ‘telling’ mode. Rather than telling employees what to do, good leaders often take a step back and adopt a coach mentality. They pay attention to team dynamics and employee behaviours to look for aspects that need to be eliminated or strengthened to enhance the team’s performance. They use their observations to provide constructive feedback. This involves being less demanding and more encouraging.

5. Acknowledge successes and embrace failures
Don’t take your team’s performance for granted. Make it a point to celebrate and reward their successes, even if it’s for just “doing their job”. Be genuine in your acknowledgement. Appreciation and respect go a long way towards making people feel they are making a difference. It also reassures your team that their efforts aren’t in vain and you are paying attention to their performance. Along with celebrating the successes good leaders also help the team learn from their mistakes. Failure and success are two sides of the same coin, and one often follows the other. Rather than instilling a fear of failure, a good leader shows how his/her team how to own it.

Photograph: Jcomp – 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz


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