How to collaborate, learn and motivate others to work with you.

how to collaborate

Businesses cannot survive or be successful unless their teams collaborate.  Entrepreneurs and business leaders know that.  For that reason, they are seeking to hire candidates with collaboration skills.  Learning how to collaborate and motivate others to work with you is then a critical skill to develop. Also, many of them are working on being examples of how to collaborate.

Learn how to collaborate, start with this.

People are more receptive to work with you when they feel valued.  Therefore, the first step for collaboration is to build connections.  You don’t have to be friends with the people you are working with.  However, cultivating personal connections, help to improve teamwork.  Take time to know the person, their interests, pain points, concerns, and what they value.    All that information will help you with two things.  

First, you would be able to identify who’s who in the workplace.  For example, you will see who you can influence, who can influence others, who are eager to learn and do new things, or not.  Also, you will know with whom you need to invest more time and effort to motivate.

Second, while you learn their pain points and interests, you will identify the best fit for future projects.  People are willing to participate in activities where they see some value for themselves.  Therefore, you are connecting with them and knowing who can help you in the future.

Guide for effective collaboration

When you are presenting an idea or a new initiative, be clear about it.  Above all, be honest, talk about the challenges, benefits, and risks.  Most importantly, answer the question, what’s in it for me?  Learning how to convey your suggestion or solution is critical.  The process consists of alternating between talking and listening.

Allow people to digest the information, give them time to ask questions, and present their views. Before you try to convince people to change their mind, take time to listen.  Use active listening to understand, not to criticize.  You would be able to influence people if they feel that you are genuinely trying to understand them. Show that you value their opinion.  

Do not interrupt, but when you have a chance, ask open-ended questions.  With them, people are prompt to give more details.  Finally, enhance their propositions, try to build upon other people’s ideas.  

How you learn to collaborate

You can learn how to collaborate by watching how others do it and practicing yourself.  When you practice how to collaborate, you will find the challenges associated with it.  For instance, you will feel how difficult it is to concentrate on what other people are saying.  Shut off your thoughts and focus on somebody else’s words is not easy.

Sometimes, it is easy to feel anxious and try to convince people that they are wrong.  But, when you feel that urgency, it is time to breathe and listen.  Listen to what others have to say with the intention of understanding and not judging.  Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes helps to grasp their feelings and emotions.  Therefore, you will gain a better understanding of their whys.

Regardless of your experience, your idea may not be the best.  Collaboration is the simple act that makes teams effective.  It is also a tool to boost creativity and respectful debates that will prompt better ideas.  With effective collaboration, people will feel motivated to participate and support your initiatives.  

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