You may be self-sufficient when you are qualified to run your profession independently. However, working with a team of individuals, either equally or less capable than you, entails certain practices. Although anyone can master any task or operate independently, collaborative tasks are a different game.
Not everyone can work well within a team. More importantly, collaboration is a process and not just the result. It takes time to nurture interdepartmental collaboration in any field. However, with practice, it is achievable. Here are the five essential components of collaborative efforts.
Essential Components of Collaboration Tools:
Cooperation and Assertiveness:
This component has two essential elements. Both work in conjunction on both an individual and a team level. When you and your team members show willingness through your actions, it refers to cooperation. When cooperation is implemented successfully, your team members will automatically be more open to suggestions from their peers, learn from mutual experiences and constructively address each other’s needs.
On the other hand, too much cooperation from one or a few team members may cause one-sided communication. It may also result in inter-member issues on a personal and professional level. To avoid this, a level of assertiveness is necessary. It entails your team members to state their points of view, value each other’s contributions and opinions, and result in smoother and healthier working environments.
Autonomy and Accountability/Responsibility:
When an individual on your team can conduct a task independently of others, it is called autonomy. Although autonomy at an individual level can be considered the opposite of collaboration, the reality couldn’t be more different. When several autonomous individuals can independently assert their professional authority, the result is a collaboration of results that complement one another.
On the other hand, autonomy without accountability or responsibility can be dangerous. Responsibility is of two types; individual and shared. The former is more essential in the case of independence. However, shared responsibilities help you in building your team more efficiently. When the shared responsibility of a particular decision affects your team, it helps the members to work more collaboratively.
Once your team members can reliably cooperate and assert themselves confidently and with autonomy and shared responsibility, you know you have a good team of professionals. The more team members complement each other’s work, the better they work in tandem. Coordinating such multi-departmental tasks effectively and efficiently is known as coordination.
When your team works in coordination, more commonly overlooked cracks or potholes can be easily avoided. Coordination also helps team members know their roles to prevent redundancies or duplicate orders.
Essentially communication is vital for any successful relationship. Be it between two team members or of the members of other teams, maintaining healthy and clear communication is paramount. How communication works in collaborative efforts can be broken down into two basic component questions: What needs to be done, and how will it be done?
Several factors result in the effectiveness of communication. The individual members must know their positions in the hierarchy, and this prevents unintentional clashes between members. Relaying crucial information and taking action according to the response received. The delay in response time is directly related to the understanding between the members in light of hierarchy and personal relations.
However, remember that communication channels are not only meant for shared responsibilities or mutual decisions. It may also be used to effectively assert a particular point of view of an autonomous member with ease. Communication can also be used effectively to compliment a team member on their excellent work or share responsibilities of failure before facing reprimand.
Mutual Trust and Respect:
This is another basic tenet of any successful relationship. By implementing the above-mentioned components, trust and respect develop between your team members seamlessly. Mutual trust and respect have higher chances of increasing when team experiences are shared. Both positive and negative experiences help strengthen the feelings of trust and respect among the team.
However, bear in mind that not all experiences enhance mutual trust and respect, and some events may also cause erosion of either or both of these factors. Overcoming such obstacles, especially under scrutiny or pressure, may help team members rely more on one another, and this directly increases their mutual harmony via trust and respect.
In conclusion, maintaining a multi-departmental team is an uphill task. However, with the right approach, a team of skilled professionals could learn to work as self-sufficient. When a team can implement the tenets mentioned above in their day-to-day schedule, their efficacy rises with each experience and event. When your team grows with positive reinforcements in such a way, it is sure to improve the ease of operations at any level.