Collaboration 101

Being a team player is essential for every part of life — both professional and persona. Life requires excellent collaboration skills. Here are a few tips on collaboration, relevant to both professional and personal life.

How do you take other people’s opinions into consideration while maintaining deadlines and pleasantness?

1: Listen

Taking into account other people’s feedback is important. Take fresh opinions to improve on work. New opinions can help improve work that you have been staring at for a while.

Listening is even key when you disagree with other people’s input. People need to know that their opinions are valued. Best case scenario — you might learn something new. Worst case scenario — you respect other people’s input and trust is increased, even if the input is not incorporated.

2: Choose a Gatekeeper

Too many cooks spoil the soup. Involving too many people in a project can bog it down and lag in the abyss of contradictory opinions instead of completing projects. However, quite often, collaboration does require communication with many people. Select point people and be aware of the point people in whatever organization, group, or company with which you are collaborating.

Selecting a gatekeeper allows people to share ideas and collaborate without bogging down a project indefinitely.

3: Set Deadlines

A flood of opinions and its associated corrections and adjustments can delay projects. If thirty people all recommend edits to a project a week before a deadline, it can delay the completion. Set deadlines. Even if the deadline has passed, the project can be completed sooner than otherwise. Deadlines add the right amount of pressure to improve efficiency and save money.

Collaboration is a lifelong skill. Even the best professionals still can learn to communicate and cooperate with more graciousness and efficiency.

By Esther Grace Ehrenman, Digital Editor and Strategist