Five Practices to Get People to Work Together – Entering the Collaboration Zone

It is tough times for businesses today. Never has it been as important as now to do more with less, share resources and leverage each other’s strengths and get people to work TOGETHER as a single unit to beat the odds. Collaboration is the key to accelerating performance improvements and transformation. Different cultures, working styles and views make any project or initiative that needs collaboration a nightmare.

It does not have to be that way, though.  With a little bit of respect, give-and-take and clear communication, collaboration can become a reality.  Here are five behaviors to get people to work together that if put into practice will align individual performers into a high performance cohesive team ready to take on any challenge:

Get People to Work Together #1: Have One Shared Purpose

Everyone on the team needs to have a shared purpose or goal leaving individual ambitions or personal agendas aside. Before starting on a project or mission, decide what the primary motive for collaboration is and what needs to be achieved when. Pull your weight, give it your best effort and be mindful about deadlines and commitments.

Get People to Work Together #2: Treat Each Other With Respect –

Treat each other with respect. Allow different views to come on the table giving each view equal consideration before collectively agreeing on the best course of action. Listen, participate and contribute. Give value to get value.

Get People to Work Together #3: Share Credit –

Don’t be an appreciation hog and shy away from giving appreciation where it is due. Be quick to praise and slow to blame. Aim for visibility of the group efforts and not just of your own. As Harry Truman said – It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn’t matter who gets the credit.

Get People to Work Together #4: Let go of the “I” –

You may be an expert and know just the right way to get things done but that’s not what is wanted here. Let go of your ego and consider what the right way is to proceed as a team. Focus your energies and abilities in competing “outside” rather than “inside”. In-fighting is a sure recipe for failure.

Get People to Work Together #5: Leverage Strengths and Manage Weaknesses –

Leverage strengths and make up for each other’s weaknesses to take your group to levels of success that would not have been possible individually. Spend some time knowing each other’s strengths and weakness – ask questions, share ideas, learn new information, and bounce suggestions off one another. Then, divide responsibilities and set accountabilities so that the right people are on the right jobs and the goal becomes manageable.

What other behaviors have worked to get people to work together and improve collaboration in your organization? What irritates you when you are part of a team? I would love to get your insights.

Pic Courtesy : Tim Fishburne, the Marketoonist.

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