As the world experiences the shift toward a more participative and friendlier way of working, here are some tools/practices that will help create a collaborative culture at your workplace
Practice #1: Be social
If you are one of those people who thinks social media is just something young people use to share pictures or ‘check-in’ at cool hangout spots, think again. The phenomenon of social media is beginning to have a very significant impact on the way we think, connect with others and, of course, on the way we work.
According to marketing strategist Deb Levoy, we are starting to appreciate the efficacy of simpler, friendlier ways of dealing with work, problem-solving and business. And this new paradigm is pouring into the enterprise via the business pundits, the newly agile engineering team, the “social media experts” and old-fashioned necessity. Social media tools usually provide the ease for creative collaboration and sharing between teams and customers because they are designed to be user-friendly, informal and accessible. And when you have teams that spread across continents, they become the mainstay for many businesses that want to establish a collaborative culture.
Practice #2: Set group expectations
It is fairly common for managers to set individual expectations defining goals and discussing outlines to achieve milestones. However, many managers fail to set team goals and expectations. While goals may be defined around work-related targets, team expectations can be centered on the experience of creating high quality interpersonal relationships. Desired behaviors can include sharing information, asking for feedback, working through disagreements, sharing responsibility and so on.
Practice #3: Define collaborative behavior
Collaboration has a lot of different meanings, and it’s important to take some time and try to define what you want it to look like. IDEO founder, David Kelly, did just this. He outlined what he wanted collaboration to look like at IDEO. For example, “Before a person can make a decision, that team member must consult with colleagues likely to be affected and, if it is likely to have a negative effect, that person does not follow through with the decision.” Devising a process like this fosters collaboration. A positive team culture will develop as team members approach individual responsibility in a manner that ensues a positive result for everyone else on the team.
Practice #4: Embrace diversity
According to leadership coach, J. Clint Anderson, It has long been recognized that personality differences can either improve or hinder a positive team culture. Personality diversity can improve team performance, as people understand self and others in a way that leverages complementary strengths and covers individual weaknesses. Alternatively, personality diversity can create conflict, mistrust, and low productivity. Teams that benefit from different personalities work to understand and accept one another. A reality of personality in teamwork is this: the person who drives you the craziest is probably the one you need the most. When it comes to personality and working together, you can also safely assume that individuals are being misunderstood while misunderstanding others. A positive team culture develops as each individual understands and accepts his or her personality as well as the other team members’ personalities
Practice #5: Provide accountability through feedback
One of the cornerstones of creating a positive team culture is creating accountability through feedback. You must go beyond information and lead by example. Expect some time to elapse before you see team mates start to embrace this desired culture. It’s important to establish accountability for the new practices by observing individual and group behavior and most importantly providing feedback. Feedback should help guide team members through desired changes and help them enjoy the new culture.
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Reproduced with permission from Prerna News Letter.