Three Tools to Facilitate Collaborative Working

3 Tools to Facilitate Collaborative Working

Looking at collaboration solutions and working with other people can sometimes be daunting. If your team is large or you haven’t worked together for very long, ensuring that you communicate effectively is essential.

If you would like to start at the beginning with communication, check out our Communication Fundamentals Workshop here. If you are ready to learn about the next steps this blog lays a foundation and suggests some tools to help you nurture a culture of collaboration in the workplace.

What is Collaboration?

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘collaboration’? Maybe you consider cooperation, partnerships or teamwork?

Underpinning all these concepts is the act of working with other people towards a common goal. While we see collaboration in a variety of activities and tasks in the workplace it can be tough to uncover solutions and make steps forward, especially when trying to facilitate it virtually.

Why Do We Need It?

Looking at the big picture, collaboration and working with others is essential in life. Very few of us make it in this world without some help, support or guidance from others; from our biggest inspiration, to our teachers, to our family and friends... working with other people happens in every facet of our existence.

In the workplace when we collaborate with others (whether as part of a team is working towards one goal or something as simple as asking someone for help with technology) not only can we develop our intraoffice relationships, but we can also enhance our productivity and efficiency. 

Take a look at The Benefits of Collaboration blog to take a deeper dive into why we need collaboration.

Collaboration Solutions that You Can Use

There is so much information out there about how you can develop effective collaboration in the workplace that it can be a little daunting; we’ve bought together our top three solutions you can use to cultivate sustainable and impactful co-working.

We know that everything is a little undetermined right now, and you may be in the office or working remotely.  Rest assured that these techniques can be practiced in person and in virtual working spaces!

Teambuilding

Admittedly when faced with a tight deadline and a new team you may have pushed the idea of teambuilding to the back of your mind... after all, working together towards the overarching goal is still teambuilding, right?

Not quite. Having the opportunity to get to know one another, learn how your co-workers think and approach challenges before starting on a task can save you time and stress in the future.

Teambuilding helps collaboration become less about reaching a goal at the fastest possible pace and more about crafting solutions that are effective and sustainable. This happens because your team can develop a support system where they feel that their input and ideas are valid, and they are invested in helping their co-workers succeed.

Click to learn more about how virtual team building can help your remote team.

Communication

Having open and honest communication is essential when working collaboratively. Having a space in which your team feels able to share ideas away from judgement can cultivate effective collaboration and establish supportive team culture. This is essential when approaching challenging tasks or goals that require a lot of energy and resources to be successful.

If co-workers are struggling with a task and they are able to communicate this within the team, more can be done to help to reduce the chance of burnout and thus positively influence collaborative working outcomes.

At VTT we know that communicating online can sometimes be difficult which is why we have written a blog that explores how to thrive at virtual networking events.

Creative Problem Solving (CPS)

CPS is the process in which you search for answers to problems, specifically in ways that require thinking that is a little more ‘out-of-the-box'.
 
Tending to work effectively as collaborative effort CPS provides an opportunity for your team to work towards your goals with a more seamless approach. This is because creative problem solving approaches the ideation process from a variety of angles in which you can develop understanding and overcome flaws as you go.

The following CPS techniques are just a few ideas to get you started and can be utilized across a range of environments to deal with hurdles.

1.    SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to Another Use, Eliminate, Reverse)
2.    Brainstorming / Post-Its
3.    Storyboarding
4.    Six Hats Thinking (Facts, Emotion, Benefit, Ideas, Planning, Judgement)

If you would like more information on innovative solutions, take a look at our Creating Team Innovation Workshop today!

Ultimately...

The most effective collaboration relies on having a ‘give without expectations’ attitude as we want to help raise other people up. The knowledge that we have worked to find a solution or made someone’s day a little bit easier is the reward. If you always demand a return, valuable collaboration is then not sustainable and consequently not effective when regarding productivity or the wellbeing of the individual.

Enjoyed what you have read and want to get involved? You and your team can take part in our Collaboration Workshop today. If you would like to learn more or see what we can do to help you and your team, contact us now!

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