The Most Important Tips for Effective Collaboration

InvGate August 17, 2021

When you read about the various aspects that come together to make an IT service desk successful in its implementation, and in making the lives of your employees easier, there are a lot of words that get bandied about. You’ll hear a lot about communication. You’ll hear a lot about the importance of self-service. You might hear about guidelines and frameworks, or ideas like gamification. And you’ll also hear about collaboration.

What do we mean when we talk about collaboration? It can often feel like an empty buzzword. Yes, in fact, it’s important to collaborate -- that feels like an absolute no-brainer. Collaboration in IT, not only within single teams but also between various teams, is incredibly important. But how do we take it from the abstract and apply it in a practical sense to the everyday lives of team members?

As someone in a leadership role, it’s easy to rattle off these concepts without necessarily seeing them through to fruition. But if your teams are going to be successful, you’re going to need to bring those concepts down to reality. Here we’ll take a quick look at three essential tips for improving collaboration in your organization.

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Tip #1. Understand what might be impeding your collaboration.

There are several potential obstacles in the way of successful collaboration within and between teams, and in order to overcome those hurdles, you need to understand and acknowledge those potential roadblocks. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, the most common challenges are siloed organization and lack of inter-departmental working, risk-averse culture, and lack of a clear vision from leadership. For that precise reason...

Tip #2. Rally the troops.

What do we mean by this? Every efficient leader knows that in order to get their team motivated, excited, and open to collaborate with others, they need to make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to what you’re working towards. You need to create a mission statement that all your team members can rally behind, and make it genuinely stirring.

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What is it about your organization that’s special? What are your pie-in-the-sky goals? Look beyond the more prosaic goals of any organization, and boil down your ultimate mission to a simple statement that your team members can feel passionate about. Working together towards an ultimate goal is extremely motivating, and a great way to foster collaboration between your team members. If they all feel part of the same mission, it’ll be easier for them to visualize their role in the organization as part of a whole.

Tip #3. Foster an open idea-sharing environment.

It’s no use to simply tell people that they should collaborate more with one another if you don’t create an environment where they feel safe to do so. Workers want to avoid overstepping their boundaries, or seeming out of their depth -- this is a common issue when working with teams outside of one’s own field of expertise. Shyness kicks in, and ideas that may potentially be game-changing precisely because they are out of left field may go unspoken.

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Create a space for your team to be unafraid to share their ideas, to potentially fail. This involves fostering a culture that’s free of judgment, where people know they are able to join in and speak up. This is essential when it comes to sharing ideas, and if you make a concerted effort to apply this philosophy to your workplace, you’ll see it pay off dividends. 

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