Collaboration – the word that defines a team

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
– Helen Keller

A few tips that I have found working on some great teams:

Listen first

  • Really listen and take the time to understand the problem. 
  • Listen to the solutions being offered. 
  • Weigh the pros and cons without pronouncing judgement. 
  • Understand where they are coming from. What is influencing their decision. 
  • Try to understand the view point and reason for it, 
  • and then build on that.

Ask questions

  • Sometimes the most obvious solution hasn’t been thought of because not all the pieces of the problem have been presented yet. So ask away. There are no stupid questions, so
  • Don’t apologize for asking either.
  • Find out what the stakeholder needs from you to solve the problem 

Ask for help

  • Is there a better way to solve the problem?
  • Who else might help the group come up with a solution?  
  • What are the options given constraints of time/money? 
  • What is known and unknown? 
  • What research needs to be done? 

Trust your team

  • Give them wings and watch them fly
  • Connect all the stakeholders and give them freedom to collaborate without you being the hub. I cannot stress enough how important this last point is. Think about it. Micromanage and you build resentment and inhibit creativity and breakthroughs.

Celebrate the collaboration, the successes, and the silly things.