It’s tough to keep everyone motivated and collaborating on your team every hour of every day. Here’s Rule’s list of 7 essential rules (pardon the pun) to help you along the way. If you have other creative ways to increase collaboration, feel free to share them in the comments.
If you’re not communicating with your team, then you’re not collaborating. Open and continuous discussion between team members can open the door to new ideas and concepts that would otherwise be left unturned. Communication is not limited to long emails or meetings— instant messaging and group messaging services are a great way to keep communication constant and passive.
Are your team members or clients encouraged to share their ideas? Sometimes your team or customers are not sure if their ideas will be deemed productive — let anyone working with you know their ideas are always welcome and collaboration is one of your founding principles in your company. A good exercise is to encourage ideas at different stages in a project, to make sure it’s ways headed in the right direction.
If you have opened up the door to ideas from your team, clients, or customers, be sure to value that opinion. Not all ideas are going to be gems, but by showing that you value other people’s opinions, you’re allowing a constant stream of collaboration within your organization that will be worth it in the end. A simple ‘thank you for your ideas’ is sufficient and allows flexibility when it comes down to making an important decision.
It’s hard making a big decision on your own. It’s normal to rely on someone else to help you make a decision, but it is even easier to make those decisions in a group. Even though it’s not possible to make every decision in your company as a group, by allowing some minor decisions or details to made as a group, you’re showing your team members that you value their opinion and you may increase collaboration as a result.
Try collaborating with yourself — it’s not going to happen; try collaborating with 100 people — it’s not going to be easy. Not every topic or issue needs to be shared with your entire team, but it’s also great to get other departments involved, so how do you find the magic number? The magic number has enough people to develop great ideas, but not so many that it’s hard to keep up with all those ideas. If you find the magic number, you’ll introduce a whole new level of collaboration within your team.
Young & Experienced
Remember to try and open up collaboration to as many different age groups as you can. Your team members in their 20s aren’t smarter than your team members in their 30s, and vice versa. Every age group has a different level of knowledge and experience, so don’t pick one group over the other when communicating or collaborating.
If you’re a project manager or ‘the boss’ you may consider sitting out a few conversations and watch from the sidelines. By keeping your voice out of the start of a conversation, your team members may feel free to continue exploring their ideas without feeling the wrath of your power. If you get involved in the conversation too early, you may stump the growth of great ideas; by letting the seeds grow on their own, you’re able to jump in at harvest time and reap the rewards (or destroy the crop if need be).
This article is from Rule by Fusion Monarch, which makes simple web-based software to increase cloud collaboration in the workplace. To learn more about what we do, visit us at https://www.rule.fm and signup for free.