The Professional Date, Collaboration

Tom Merton

Tom Merton

Working with a colleague or counterpart or on a committees is one of the most effective and efficient ways to complete an assignment, push a policy or determine a budget. Determining the members of these collaborations is the first and foremost objective. Work style, interest and even outside influence, such as hobbies and social life, play a huge roll in how the group works as a whole. These are all primary qualities to look for and how to operate a collaboration between members of a distinct group. So, what are the major trademarks of a key collaborative member?

1.      They are active listeners, who strive to absorb, understand, consider and even challenge ideas proposed by other members. They are essential for a group to function properly, receiving criticism without defensive reaction. Meaningful dialogue results stem from a primary listener and a secondary speaker. Listening is key.

2.      Communication is another keystone for being an important player in your group’s efficient solutions. For a listener to work properly, a communicator must first be able to speak up and express views on the issue. That team member illustrates the argument in the best way possible, never shying away from criticism and accepting criticism and counter points gracefully. Nobody likes someone who can only communicate their point with no ability to see others just as equally.

3.      Flexibility, coupled with the belief to being open and willing to new experiences and views on an issue are the lubrication to a highly efficient machine. These traits exhibit the willingness to learn about a subject, even if the one listening is an expert. Issues are seen from many different angles and opinion, although subjective, are a strong supplemental resource use to complete an assignment. Sharing knowledge, experience and information not only adds to the speakers’ personal credibility, but the credibility of the group in presentation of the recommendation. Looking beyond a formal meeting, colleagues need to be able to discuss issues around work. This trait suggests that bother feasible.

4.      Commitment to the team, especially after the project is completed shows great respect and acknowledgement for your group members’ efforts. Too often do committees dissolve and team members lose touch, that when another group is looking to be formed, its previous members are burdened to reconnect. Don’t lose connection to colleagues.

5.      A problem solver is crucial to a team focused on a common goal. As the name suggest, they are astute at solving problems and use critical thinking methods to decipher avenues that other members may not have thought of. Just as brainstorming stems and blossoms into a web of thought processes beneficial to completion of the task, the problem solver is a member that gets the gears going and bonds a team. They are the glue.

Independent work makes it easy to forget about your colleagues, aside from general meetings. When tasked with a group setting assignment, like a collaboration, don’t think of it as working in a group like you had to back in grade school. Those days of awkward introductions and getting to know one another, hoping that each member would do the work they were assigned so that nobody would have to pull their weight for them, are over. Think more of the five key traits listed above and have utmost confidence that they reside within your team members. Not only with this contribute to the group’s mentality, but your own as well. Now, instead of wondering whether you’ll have to try extra hard to compete with a colleague at today’s meeting, you’ll wonder what they have to contribute, how will they retort your claims and provide critical feedback to make this collaboration a successful one.