The ability to cooperate with others and work effectively in a team environment
What is it?
Collaboration is the process of working with others to accomplish organizational tasks. In a team environment, everyone contributes to the shared goals of the group, and it is imperative that the group can interact positively and effectively. Each individual plays an important role that is intricately tied to the other members of the team.
Why is it important?
In today’s complex workplace, everyone must do their part in order for the team or department to succeed. If one person fails to prioritize team goals, the output of the whole team can be compromised. Because so much time is spent in a team environment, everyone needs to learn how to cooperate with others not only for their own careers but also for the sake of the team’s performance.
When your work group is discussing new tasks or duties, be the first to volunteer for the job. Don’t fall prey to the temptation of not working hard because you think that other members of your team aren’t working as hard as you. In the long run, your career will be much more successful if you are seen as the member who is quick to support the team. A more proactive way of being a team player is to ask the team leader or members if they need help with anything. Of course, you have to follow through on your offer or the plan will backfire.
Give Regular Updates
Second, active collaboration requires constant communication. Ask for feedback, provide regular status updates, and let people know what you’re working on. We have to get out of our individualistic and self-protective mode of thinking and make our work visible to others. Be open to suggestions, and avoid being too attached to your own ideas or your own way of doing things.
Finally, be easy to get along with. Give others the benefit of the doubt and express your appreciation for their contributions. Be flexible with the small things. Try not to let petty conflicts bother you and never speak poorly of a fellow team member or the team leader.