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How To Build Successful Teams With 8 Collaborative Approaches
Collaboration and teamwork are vital to your organization's success. But, what are the primary drivers of strong teamwork and high levels of collaboration? Well, a study that examined 55 teams across 15 different organizations attempted to answer that exact question. Emerging from that study were eight crucial approaches to bear in mind when building teams.
Every great manager continually searches for and tests how to build successful teams. And one key ingredient for a high functioning team is collaboration. Here are eight ideas to build a more collaborative, and therefore, more successful team.
8 Collaborative Approaches For Successful Teams
Invest in signature relationship practices
Signature relationship practices are unique to your team or organization. They fit well within your organizational culture and are often tough for others to replicate due to the individuality of your specific organization. These relationship practices are very team-oriented and are often memorable for those involved. By making visible investments in these practices, leadership demonstrates their commitment to collaborative behavior and encourage it.
Model collaborative behavior
As one might expect, in organizations where the leaders themselves demonstrate highly collaborative behavior, so do the teams within that organization. However, that is not typically the challenge. The challenge oftentimes revolves around making the executives' behavior visible. Only when that behavior is visible does it have the "trickle down" effect.
Create a "gift culture"
A "gift culture" refers to the mentoring and coaching that happens within an organization. The "gifts" are the experiences and wisdom that are transferred between individuals in the firm. Mentoring is critical, especially informal mentoring that can occur. Informal mentoring creates a more authentic two-way dialogue between the mentor and the mentee, which promotes increased levels of learning and collaboration.
Ensure the requisite skills
Building collaborative teams requires certain skills and characteristics for everything to flow smoothly. When leadership can teach employees to build effective relationships, appreciate others, communicate well, and resolve conflicts in resourceful ways, the teams will naturally be more likely to develop a collaborative atmosphere.
Support a strong sense of community
Have you ever been part of team in which you felt like an outsider? It can be frustrating, and it also makes it incredibly difficult to get anything meaningful accomplished. When an organization cultivates a strong sense of community, individuals feel more comfortable reaching out to others, sharing knowledge, and helping to solve problems.
Assign team leaders that are both task-oriented and relationship-oriented
The ability to coalesce many of the above ideas and still allocate tasks in a productive manner requires a well-rounded and developed leader. Both maintaining relationships and assigning responsibilities are essential skills for any leader, and the most productive and innovative teams are typically led by people who were focused on both tasks and relationships.
Build on heritage relationships
The ability to capitalize on preexisting relationships, or "heritage" relationships, plays a major role in transferring skills and institutional knowledge across business units or clients. Make sure these relationships exist on your teams, especially when incorporating a new employee. The ability of a preexisting team to seamlessly incorporate a new member into their network not only directly impacts the success of that individual, but it will also influence the future success of the organization.
Understand role clarity and task ambiguity
Collaboration and cooperation greatly improve when individual team members have clearly defined roles and responsibilities. It becomes much easier for teams to collaborate towards achieving a common goal when that goal is clearly defined. Flexibility in terms of how to achieve that goal provide the individual or team an opportunity to develop a sense of ownership, but the ultimate desired outcome must be clear.
These eight focal points highlight the core characteristics of highly collaborative teams. The extent to which your team or organization is able to collaborate and work together effectively will have a direct impact on the implementation and execution of your strategy. If you are in the early stages of developing your team, or are simply looking to increase collaboration, we hope you found these tips about successful teams helpful.