Strategies to improve team collaboration

Inspire to collaborate and foster an atmosphere for success with these tips. By Priya Prakasan

It’s often said a leader is only as good as his/her team, and collaboration is vital to an organisation’s survival. So how do you nurture the right conditions that encourage people to share, trust, support and work together? Here are some strategies.

Build a collaborative culture
When it comes to collaboration the work environment plays a key role. Leaders can’t force collaboration, they need to encourage it. Create a supportive atmosphere when employees feel comfortable speaking out and interacting with each other. Successful collaboration needs an atmosphere of trust, where the employee feels trusted and trusts the organization as well as the leader. Also encourage remote employees to actively remain connected to team members. This helps make the most of their knowledge resources, facilitates participation and innovation, and leverages the employee strength.

Define the goals
As a leader, the objective you formulate and the goals your define will determine how a project is executed. So it is crucial you have a clear-cut vision of the goal(s) you want your team to work towards. This translates into a well-defined strategy and plan. By doing so leaders are providing a united team vision that will lead to more effective collaboration. To cultivate a top-performing team, leaders need to clearly define the roles and their expectations from different team members. Collaboration improves when team members understand their roles clearly.

Build trust with an atmosphere of transparency
Trust is a key aspect of what holds a team together. Trust builds a confidence to speak and act freely. Without trust collaboration is unlikely to truly take place. So leaders need to work to foster a culture of trust. One way is through transparency; it helps build solid workplace relationships between members of the team and the leadership. Good leaders are open, candid, consistent in their approach, supportive, and share information freely. Transparency also leads to accountability, another key aspect necessary for increased productivity and collaboration.

Address and resolve conflicts quickly
Conflicts and misunderstanding are inevitable; it’s how they are handled that can make or break a team. It’s in a leader’s best interest to keep these conflicts healthy. Healthy conflict provides opportunities for disruption and the emergence of new ideas. However, if left too long negative emotions can fester and then below up, disrupting team productivity. So effective leaders are quick to identify such situations, discover why there is conflict, and resolve them. Keep an eye on team dynamics, language used as well as body language to spot potential conflicts.

Enforce team accountability…
…And not just individual accountability. This forces people to look beyond their own goals and objectives, towards the larger vision. It also nudges those lone rangers towards collaboration, building their skillsets and enhancing the team’s collective abilities.

Graphic: Waewkidja – 

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