Stop. Collaborate. And listen.
Over the years of being a professional blogger and working on my own, I have collaborated with a few others in and out of the industry. Doing so has helped me grow my readership by cross-pollinating our audiences, work on my weaknesses, and gives my business a platform on other channels and formats expanding my experience. Collaborating with others is a great way to be a better business person and leader and assists you in being able to put more on your plate, but also split the work. Joint ventures and collaborations are methods that I use to help build my empire while partnering with others and lending to their empire building as well.
In a work setting, you are collaborating with people all of the time on projects and duties. When there’s a strong collaboration, it can be a win/win for everyone. But when it isn’t, there is sure to be some issues that may spill into the drama territory. Not everyone knows how to be an effective partner or how to work well with others. So I’ve come up with a list of 5 ways to be a better collaborator at work (and anywhere else) that can help you and others you are working with have a strong and effective partnership.
Listening is the golden rule for most anything—and when working with others, it is vitally important to be a good and active listener. When collaborating with others, make sure you aren’t talking over your partner(s), while actively engaging in what they are saying. Never dismiss something that your colleague has said, even if you disagree. Write down key points that they are saying, and then respond accordingly with those key points to be able to summarize and validate their issues/concerns/ideas, etc. Never belittle your collaborator(s), or tune them out. Listening is key to the success of everyone involved.
Take good notes.
Each time you are working with your collaborator(s), keep a log of the items discussed so you can refer back to them later. Never assume that you will remember the conversation the exact way they do, so a paper trail is most important. It will help with time management and efficiency, and is overall a good habit in business.
Assumptions, being a mind reader, and not conveying your message is recipe for disaster, especially when working with others. Communicate effectively and try to be to the point as much as you can without too being rigid. Communicating helps make sure that you all are on the same page, and can make the project process less stressful.
We all come to the table with something. So a good collaboration means that you all are able to showcase your talents while getting the job done. It also means that you are open to learning from one another as well. Know-it-alls and smart alecks don’t work well in collaborations. Allow yourself to soak up knowledge from others, while showcasing your skill set.
Be open and ban bossy.
Being bossy during a collaborative project usually doesn’t go over well, and can make you hard to deal with. In addition to learning from others, be open to hearing suggestions and feedback without taking it too much to heart. Make sure everyone has assigned roles, but don’t lord over your counterparts.
I hope the above mentioned tips can help you be a better collaborator at work and at other areas in your life. Now take these nuggets and rock your next project!