The Power Of Collaboration: Learning How To Work With Others

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Throughout your education and into your working career, you’ll quickly realize that working alone all the time just isn’t possible. Collaboration is not just a key soft skill to possess, but it’s integral to your success in the working world.  Simple enough, but there’s just one issue: how do you learn to work well with others, or at least improve on this skill? Luckily, we have a few tips that can help.

Get Involved and Offer To Help Out

The first way to ask for help is to offer some first. It’s important to know that there are others just like you who need somebody to give them an extra hand. Offering to help not only tells others that you’re somebody that can be counted on, but you’re already in the midst of building relationships that will become important in the future. Simple gestures can go a long way for collaboration.

Generate New Ideas and Learn To Fail

Early in your career there is no greater time for collaboration. Your skills, experience and ambitions grow at their own pace, and it’s this time where you get to improve on all of them. There are few consequences if you try something new and have a setback.

Generating ideas with new people is a great way to build collaborative efforts. Others will be receptive to your ideas and will appreciate the effort you’re putting into the project. Not every idea will be amazing, but the effort will always be noticed.

Starting in any position, it’s not a matter of if but when you fail at something (and that’s totally okay!). Thankfully, when you’re collaborating with new people, you have an opportunity to get feedback from your peers and learn how to improve! After a while, you’ll be able to pass that knowledge to other new employees and peers.

Ask For Help If You Need It

You won’t be able to do everything alone in your new position. Asking for help is a great way to build collaborative efforts. It does not mean you’re incompetent, it shows a willingness to learn and collaborate with others. If you feel overwhelmed with a task, ask a fellow co-worker if they wouldn’t mind collaborating on the project. You will be more efficient and learn faster from collaborating with others than doing so alone.

Communication Is Key

Collaboration would not be possible without effective communication. Communicate with others exactly what you need or what you want to learn. When all team members have a clear objective, everyone can work more effectively towards a shared goal. A key component of this skill is listening. And not just listening to respond with an answer, but to truly hear what other people are saying. This will allow you to work better in a team, and people will definitely take notice.

If you’re collaborating with someone and you don’t feel as though it’s moving in the right direction, make sure to take a step backwards and communicate the objectives with the other person once more. Perhaps it a matter of understanding how the other person is interpreting the communication. It can help to ask questions for clarification, along with being clear and concise in your communication (but be careful not to come across and abrupt or blunt). It’s always better to move forward with a clear objective than to try to navigate through uncertainty.

To recap, be sure to offer your help, take initiative by offering your ideas, ask for help yourself and ensure that your communication skills are on point! These will all help you to collaborate in any work situation you find yourself in – whether you’re starting a new role, joining a new project or completing your final school assignments.

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About the author

Christopher Bright is a Marketing Research Associate and he's currently pursuing his degree in Business Management at Ryerson University. He has also studied abroad at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and plans to move to Germany for his Master's Degree and subsequent professional career. He has been a member of the Canadian Armed Forces since 2012 working as an Army Communication and Information Systems Specialist (ACISS). Outside of his professional life, he enjoys being creative through making music.