Collaboration is important at every company, as it drives the innovation that ultimately improves products and services. However, certain behaviors can detract from productive team work. Make sure you don't exhibit any of the ones below:
1. Being quick to reject other people's ideas
Meaningful collaboration depends on a safe space for team members to share their thoughts without fear of being shot down regardless of how "out there" those thoughts are, said Dan Sines, CEO of Traitify, a developer of personality assessments. While honesty is important, how you respond to others' ideas has a big impact on your employees' confidence levels. Avoid using negative language, and instead, focus on the positives. Remember, there are no wrong answers, just different ways of looking at the same question, and employees should be recognized for having the guts to share their ideas.
2. Pledging allegiance to the rules
The most successful brainstorming comes when people let go of rules and expectations and instead think outside the box with no limit to their imaginations. In a business setting, it's easy to fall into the trap of encouraging or considering only ideas that fit into existing workflows. Of course, there are limits to what companies can achieve, and protocols provide order in chaos. However, the best ideas for your organization may be lurking outside of the rules. Encourage out-of-the-box creative thinking, and if something brilliant and unorthodox is thought of, that proposal may be worth tweaking your standard processes.
3. Randomly building teams
What scenario do you think is more likely to produce meaningful collaboration: a bunch of random employees who have never exchanged more than two words with each other or a group of workers who are already well-connected? It's the latter, according to the Harvard Business Review. The publication found that when 20-40 percent of team members have established relationships with each other, the group experiences more effective collaboration from the get-go due to the networks of trust that have developed. Take this point into account when assembling project teams, and if you find strong relationships lacking, host company events to increase interaction and help a higher number of employees get to know one another.
So many companies know that productive collaboration is integral to their success, but so few know how to actually make it happen. By working on your bad habits, you can begin fostering a collaboration-friendly culture at your organization.