Keys to Successful Group Collaboration

You can try do it alone. But should you? However independent you may think you are, no one can achieve as much working alone as they can with the collaborative help of others. Group results is often better, especially when the group collaboration is truly working together. When a group is really in sync it becomes a team. It’s amazing the amount of progress that can be made when a team is formed. No team?; then working together is harder and even counter-productive to success. The key is to start collaborating for a common purpose.

Here are ten ways to enhance collaboration and to make larger teams successful in an eStudio online office.

1) Analyze before you jump. Promote a clear understanding of the what, who, how, why. Unite the group together with a clear vision. Without a clear and common purpose – the reason for being together that everyone shares – collaboration will never reach its optimum potential.

2) As a group develop concrete, attainable goals. Common goals focus group energy.

3) Use an online office to communicate openly. Effective collaboration can be promoted through discussion boards designed to foster dialog among the group. Online office forum software encourages open and honest communication about ideas, experiences and opinions.

4) Group lists are very important where a company hierarchy is present. Hierarchy structure can be a barrier to the free flow of communication. Use eTeam functions for managing users so that individuals communicate effectively with their groups.

5) Build hybrid groups. Collaborative groups combine the strengths of each person. Let each person contribute so all team members are acknowledge, valued and deployed.

6) Think openly. Collaboration is an act of creation. Bring people together to find synergy – the sum being greater than the contribution of each individual. Collaboration will be enhanced when people feel comfortable about sharing their ideas, and worry less about whose idea gets implemented.

7) Determine accountability. Someone must be the administrator of the online office. But there can be many team leaders. Greater collaboration will come when everyone feels responsible; when everyone is comfortable and empowered to take the initiative. Collaborative groups are mobs, teams may have a leader, but teams are filled with people ready to do what it takes to achieve results.

8) Compete externally. It is hard to collaborate when you feel competition within the group. Competition for power, position, ideas and more all get in the way of collaborative success. With a clear purpose and goals, people can be clear on what they are trying to accomplish and how to do that in service of the team’s success, not their personal (or departmental) success.

9) Hold regular group meetings. It’s easy to get lonely or lack initiative when you’re working away from other team members. One way to avoid this problem is to regularly gather all staffers in a virtual session to review work progress. Meeting face-to-face will build employee loyalty and help teams cement good working relationships.

10) Ask for feedback. Productive collaborative work requires two-way communication. It’s important to solicit feedback so everyone can talk about what’s working and what’s not. When remote collaboration is new, you may want to talk to team members directly to solicit comments. After everyone is working comfortably, you might automate a feedback channel.

These ten collaboration tips will help you work better with others. The group might be a true working team, or it might be a group gathered for a one-time event to solve a problem or complete a task. The more these tips are implemented, the more successful the collaborative results will likely be.

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