How To Improve Collaboration In Your Team
You may think your team members collaborate well, but do they really? Maybe you send mass emails asking for ideas or input, but few sales reps feel comfortable hitting “reply all.” Or perhaps your organization regularly hosts large meetings, which serve more as a forum to share updates rather than truly collaborate.
Reem Abeidoh, senior director, product marketing at ADP, calls this “fauxcollaboration.” This is a type of communication touted as collaboration. Only instead of encouraging conversations between various stakeholders, it only creates frustration. It is an illusion of collaboration.
To reach a state of real collaboration, collaborators must work on a common problem. Everyone must have skin in the game, she notes. If you want a refresher on how to create a culture of true collaboration in your organization, read on. We share Abeidoh’s practical tips on how to improve collaboration in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
Choose participants wisely. If you want your sales reps to truly collaborate, be fierce about who you bring together for meetings. Make sure every prospective participant is clear about their role and responsibilities, notes Abeidoh.
Inform your collaborators why you chose them. This helps give your team members clarity on why they are part of a meeting. They may not immediately understand why you have called them in to share ideas, so remind them of why they are important to the success of the project or deal.
Outline key objectives. Don’t leave anyone guessing. Be specific about your audience and what communication they will receive regarding the progress and success of the project.
Brainstorm quickly. When you have your team of collaborators assembled, jump in with ideas. Don’t overthink it or assign any constraints. Welcome all kinds of ideas. Abeidoh recommends using a prioritization matrix once you have all the ideas listed. Use the Y axis for impact and the X for likelihood of success.
Agree to disagree. When people come together to collaborate, not everyone will agree on every topic. That’s okay, says Abeidoh. It’s up to you as the leader to make the call on what to pursue. The important thing is that your team members commit to collaborating rather than agreeing on every point.
Check in on progress. When you decide on a project or initiative, take the steps to get it going. Make sure to schedule time to check in on how the project is progressing so you can adjust as needed.
Many teams are under the false impression that they are collaborating simply because they get everyone together. Real collaboration takes the right team design, structure and principles. The next time you need fresh ideas and insight, don’t just send an email to the whole team and wait for replies. Strategically choose a team and let them know why you’re bringing them together. Then open the floor and let the ideas flow. You might be surprised at the results you get when you replace “fauxcollaboration” with the real deal.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Reem Abeidoh is the senior director, product marketing at ADP.