“Leaders seize opportunities through collaboration”                                                                                                                                                                         – Carly Fiorina

Collaboration is Key

It has been my experience that collaboration is one of the most important tools in life. The African Proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far go together” rings true in so many ways. There are countless examples of how collaboration can make you successful in your career and in your life. I have found success when I collaborate with others at work, in not-for-profit organizations and public events.

I am going to share five keys for successful collaboration with you.

Purpose –

As with many things in life, a clearly defined purpose is key to collaboration. You have to understand what you are trying to accomplish and what the benefits are to those you serve and those who you will collaborate with. When people come together around something that they are passionate about they will get things done. There have been many successful movements throughout history that have begun through collaboration, think the civil rights movement, a large group of great people rallied together for a history changing campaign.

Recruit –

Once you have established your purpose, it is now time to invite other people to join you to meet an objective. Determine what your strengths are and if you already have others on your team decide what strengths they will contribute to this collaboration. Now determine what skills or strengths are missing and begin to recruit others to compliment your team and make the collaboration stronger. The greater the purpose, the greater the team.

“One is too small a number to achieve greatness” – John Maxwell

Communication –

It is imperative that you establish a communication plan when creating a collaborative environment. How you will communicate, the frequency of communication and the methods of communication need to be planned in order to create an engaged team. Keeping stakeholders informed and engaged is paramount to achieving the objectives of the collaboration. Poll the team to determine how they like to receive information, then use their preferred method to convey information to them.

Be Consistent –

Be consistent with thCollaboratione message. Be consistent with the team members. You can gain trust by being consistent with the team. Schedule meetings on a prescribed frequency that everyone can commit to and be a contributor. Once a week on Tuesday or monthly on the second Thursday of the month, get a routine that people can easily understand and have a place holder in their schedules. If you have done an excellent job in recruiting your team members, they are most likely busy people with other commitments, having a consistent routine will allow them to get a groove.

Recognition –

Human beings have an innate desire to be recognized. Recognition will go a long way to encourage the team. A small token of appreciation or a pat on the back will let the other team members know they are valued. Say thanks to someone for their contribution and be specific about what they are contributing.

Example: “Javier, I noticed you updated the schedule for our project, I appreciate your attention to detail and that you delivered the schedule earlier than expected. This will help us to begin planning a little sooner and help move the project forward.” This will mean more than “Javier, thanks for everything you are doing for the team.”

I hope you have found these five keys to successful collaboration useful. Do you have ideas for other keys that make a successful collaboration? I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. You can email me at brianb@buildcs.net

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Brian Brogen, Build Yourself & Then Build Others!

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