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The 5 golden collaboration rules that you have to follow

Organisations are continuing to invest in improving collaboration in their workplace.

This is not surprising, when recent studies such as this one, suggest that collaboration is the main factor that is driving workplace performance.

The research found that participants who were primed to act collaboratively stuck at their task 64% longer than their solitary peers, whilst also reporting higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels and a higher success rate. What’s more, this impact persisted for several weeks.

Do you want the secret to this success? Follow these successful collaboration rules, and you’ll be well on your way to replicating these results.


Encourage disagreements

encourage disagreements

This may sound slightly strange. It’s not natural to intentionally fall out with your colleagues, is it?!

But on the other hand, there are clear benefits of a little bit of conflict in the workplace. Especially when you relate it to collaboration:

  • Opens up new ideas – As contrasting opinions are thrown back and forth between individual team members, new and sometimes better ideas are often created in these moments.
  • Teaches listening skills – In order to convince others that your view is correct, you first need to listen to the counter-arguments of others, so you can respond appropriately.
  • Improve communication skills – When someone disagrees with you, it can feel like you’re being put on the spot. But this pressure can actually make you a stronger communicator, which can only help when you’re trying to work with other people towards a common goal.


Cut down on meetings

I bet it feels like you spend most of your working life in meetings.

This is certainly true when you take a closer look at the statistics. Studies have found that the time employees spend in meetings has risen by around 10% each year since 2000.

When you factor in the time and cost spent on travelling to see external partners and the environmental impact, it’s clear that this is unsustainable.

But what are the alternatives? In short – it’s cloud collaboration. With features such as online forums, polls and task management, it’s incredibly simple to collaborate with others without having to drag everyone away from their workplace for a non-productive meeting.

But that’s not all. Because you only need a browser and an internet connection, you can simply login and collaborate at a time and place that’s convenient for you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re part of a virtual team working remotely at home, in a coffee shop or pulled over at the side of the road; you can still be as productive as ever.


Set clear objectives

smart goals

So, you have a great team and the collaboration tools that you need to keep your project on the right track.

But all of this means nothing if you don’t have clear goals and objectives. If everyone’s pulling in different directions, it will only end in failure.

If you’re unsure where to start, the solution is simple. Think SMART – literally!

Creating your goals using this framework will ensure that you’re not stretching yourself too far, but not making things too easy either:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant).
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating).
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable).
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based).
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive).


Choose the right partners

Having the ability to collaborate with internal stakeholders is a key aspect of any project.

As they already understand your company culture, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a team member on the same wavelength as you.

But what about external partners? Without common ground being found, it’s easy for expectations to be mismatched, which can ultimately lead to the failure of these collaborations.

This doesn’t mean you both have to agree at all times, (see point one,) but you do need to respect each other’s way of thinking.

Another point to consider is whether they are bringing the relevant skills to the table. If they’re not providing additional value, is there any point in working with them?


Use the right tools for information sharing

online forum in Kahootz

With so many stakeholders to consult, inform and engage with, you need the right strategy and tools in place.

For many, email is the go-to communication method. But is this really the best way? It’s not when you consider that email actually makes you less productive.

Why is this the case? If you’ve ever had to search through hundreds of old emails looking for the most up-to-date version of a document or had trouble sending one through because of an overzealous firewall, you will understand this.

Naturally, you only want to use tools that increase productivity. For this, there really is only one option – online collaboration software.

These successful collaboration systems allow you to bring internal and external stakeholders together into one secure, online workspace.

With the ability to edit documents together in real-time, track version control and create forums to keep all of your communications in order, email is left obsolete.

Want to give online collaboration a try? Start a free, no obligation, 30 day trial of Kahootz and begin to break down the barriers to successful collaboration that exist in your organisation.

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