When we collaborate, we increase our odds for success; it’s a tried and true method to take our idea, project or business to new heights – even heights we didn’t know were possible! However, it can’t work if the setting or environment isn’t supportive, cohesive, and purposeful. Even when the group has an abundance of experience, talent and resources, it can fall apart quickly without the right dynamic. Here are 5 ways to create a cohesive, collaborative space to keep inspiration and motivation high:
- Encourage new ideas without negative consequences
All ideas are good ideas. Everyone needs to feel comfortable when they put their thoughts or suggestions forward without the fear of being judged, ridiculed or dismissed. Sure, a proposition may result in roadblocks and complications, but that doesn’t mean it should be tossed out; it could lead to something extraordinary!
- Focus on alignment of goals
Not only do you need to establish goals for your new endeavour, you need to check in from time to time to ensure that everyone’s on the same page. That’s why it’s important to set realistic, meaningful goals and re-assess or adjust based on the team’s needs. This is particularly important not only to enhance cohesion and focus, but to evaluate progress to see what’s working and what isn’t.
- Recognize others and celebrate successes
Within a collaborative group, there are sometimes big egos, rivalries or competitions that become problematic. One way to minimize this is to regularly acknowledge the work and talents of all individuals and celebrate all the various wins along the way – not just at the end. Got your lease signed for your new space? Awesome! Your project was highlighted in the media? Rejoice and celebrate the collective success! The positive vibes will keep morale high.
- Show respect for one another
Within any group culture, there are differences in opinions and attitudes, which is a good thing! In fact, it’s those different perspectives that drive change and help us to see all sides of an issue or problem. This is where being respectful of others comes into play – we need to be considerate, inclusive and open, even if we don’t agree with someone. This respect will strengthen the group cohesion and tighten bonds, boosting inspiration and driving innovation.
- Be organized
Whatever your collaboration is, be it artistic, community-based, technological, environmental, business-focused and so on, your operations and resources need to be organized. Without organization, all those great ideas and talents will go to waste because there’s no one to put a process in place and keep it moving. The group will respect an organized strategy and feel supported; they’ll be less likely to abandon ship because it was too chaotic or unfocused. Here’s how to start:
- Form a plan of attack
- Work out schedules
- Clarify roles, duties and responsibilities
- Set milestones and deadlines
- Follow up
- Communicate regularly – especially with ‘off-site’ team members
- Provide strong leadership
- Keep track of resources and assets
Effective collaborations don’t happen overnight, so don’t try to rush it. Get your team of superstars together, have a goal and a plan, and start creating some magic! By following these 5 tips, the group will feel empowered and supported…what CAN’T be accomplished when such great energy is in the air?!
“I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I sure can pick smart colleagues.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt