Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The art of collaborating at work

"All your strength is in union, all your danger is in discord" Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In any company there are always challenges. Within a company there are different departments and divisions. Everyone is paid differently. Some employees are hourly, some employees are on salary. Depending on your job description and your level of experience determines your pay. With that said, the challenges of any company always need to be addressed and everyone needs to be on the same page to tackle these challenges.

These challenges require teamwork. The quality that is needed the most between employees and departments amid great pressures and challenges is collaboration. In John Maxwell's "The 17 Essential Qualities of a Team Player,"(Nelson Publishers 2002) Maxwell mentions that becoming a collaborative team player requires a change in focus in four areas:

  1. Perception: See teammates as collaborators, not competitors- If you look at any team you can see the potential for competition. To collaborative team members, completing one another is more important that competing with one another. Everybody is perceived as a unit working together.

  2. Attitude: Be supportive, not suspicious of teammates- People are preoccupied with looking out for their own interests that they are naturally suspicious of just about everyone including their own teammates. Adapt the mind-set where you complete rather than compete.

  3. Focus: Concentrate on the team, not yourself-Where you focus your attention says a lot about whether you compete with others or complete them. "True progress in any field is a relay race and not a single event."

  4. Results: Create victories through multiplication-When you work together with your teammates you can do remarkable things.If you work alone you leave a lot of victories on the table. Collaboration has a multiplying effect on everything you do because it releases and harness your skills but also those skills of everyone on the team.

So the question remains, Are you a collaborative team player? If so, you carry these traits.

  1. You think win-win-win- When you collaborate with others you win, they win and the team wins.

  2. Complement others-Get with someone who has strengths in your area of weakness and vice versa.

  3. Take yourself out of the picture-Get into the habit of what is best for the team.

I think Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's quote " All your strength is in union, all of your danger is in discord," says that we all need to work together for the common good of the company otherwise everything will fall apart.

No comments:

Post a Comment