5 Ways to Improve Collaboration Skills in the Workplace

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Being part of a team means having shared objectives and purposes. Considering this, collaboration is key to converting organizational goals into collective action to make sure the efforts of all team members are focused on one direction. 

As companies, we have a great responsibility to ensure that collaboration is part of the company culture, and that we offer all necessary resources to our team members. Here at FullStack Labs, we take care to be close to our employees to guarantee they have the required tools to succeed in their work. It’s fundamental to consider the following steps to ensure collaboration is developed or under development within the company culture. 

1. Communication is key

To start, it is important to identify the ways in which the people in your team prefer to communicate — some feel more comfortable with written communication, while others prefer oral communication to ensure that everyone is on the same page and has some space to ask questions and resolve doubts. As a team leader, it is vital to identify the way the team prefers to manage communication. Don’t hesitate to raise your hand if you need help .

As part of a team, don't be shy! It's important to raise your hand if you need some help and be assertive when more explanation is necessary. It’s also necessary to take ownership of your activities and communicate if there are some unplanned situations that could impact the delivery of results. Be clear about the traceability of the process to share information in a timely manner. Don’t hesitate to raise your hand if you need help.  

2. Set expectations 

For collaboration to flow between all team members, responsibilities and commitments must be clear from the beginning of the project. Therefore, it is very important to be explicit about individual goals, how they complement each other, and provide all the context required for the project ramp-up.    

The planning of all activities should be carried out considering the time, scope, and availability of the team members. Prioritization, organization, and time management skills are required from all team members to ensure that the work and all expectations are met.

3. Identify your strengths and opportunities for improvement

As human beings, we all have a set of skills and weaknesses or opportunities for improvement. In all collaborative processes, it is critical to not only learn from each other but also to identify which team member has the necessary skills to successfully complete a task. This will help the team to optimize times and achieve project results as expected. 

It’s a must to offer mentorship and provide feedback as soon as an improvement opportunity is detected. On a daily basis in software development, pairing sessions and team meetings are an opportunity to share and exchange best practices. 

4. Be an active listener

Active listening is very important for the exchange of ideas to flow in a work team, recognizing that there may be people with greater knowledge and experience in a particular subject and giving others the opportunity to express their ideas. It is important to consider the multiple options or different ways of doing an activity and to come up with an agreement on which one may be most effective for the team — try to learn the best methods from each other and incorporate them into the practice. 

5. Stay open to learning and feedback

The way you share your ideas and concerns is really important, but it’s also important to consider the ways that you receive feedback and your willingness to accept it since this will determine the degree to which you can learn and continue to grow in your professional career. 

For some people, it's hard to accept and consider others' opinions. Try to be open when you receive new ideas, arguments, and new ways of doing things, and remember: this is essential to improve collaboration and teamwork.

Wrapping Up

In summary, the 5 ways to improve collaboration skills in the workplace are:

  1. Communicate, raise your hand if you need help
  2. Set clear expectations
  3. Identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses
  4. Be an active listener
  5. Stay open to learning and receive feedback

At FullStack Labs, we embrace collaboration in all of our projects and engagement with clients. Meet the FSL team, take a look at our current job openings, or contact us for help with your current project or staff augmentation needs.

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