Team management is an essential component of leadership and there are a few significant ways you can foster a better collaborative environment for your team. From providing clarity to open communication, collaboration is a breeding ground for innovations and higher profits.
This subject can be tricky because part of what makes an environment a great place to collaborate is unspoken. Environments are affected by things like openness and safety. While none of this can be forced, you can lay the groundwork for your team to foster the right collaborative environment.
Here are a few ways to improve collaboration within your team:
This topic could be in bold letters at the top of every management manual. Clarity is what allows each person on the team to stay in their lane.
Start with clarifying roles. It’s hard to collaborate when it is unclear who is responsible for what. Each team member should know where their job begins and where it ends. This helps encourage collaboration but avoids overstepping which can create conflict.
Continue by clarifying the expectations and standards. Lack of clarity or direction on what is expected creates stress. Giving your team a framework or overall idea for a project and then inviting input and creativity allows them to fill gaps or bring up new ideas.
Make Respect a Core Value
Employees are more likely to contribute when they feel like their voice matters. Emotional and physiological safety means that teams can bring up something without being afraid that they will be made fun of or treated with sarcasm.
As a leader, you set the tone for how employees treat one another. Aim to be an employer that looks for ways to catch your employees doing well. Set the precedent that no question is dumb. Listen attentively when an employee shares, even if it seems insignificant. The fact is, in order to foster a better collaborative environment for your team, you have to start long before the next project begins.
Be sure to establish a guideline of how to treat each other respectfully and make sure everyone sticks to that standard. In a recent talk, Amy Edmonson covers three more ways to create psychological safety for your employees.
Invest In Team Leads
One of the best investments you can make is in your leadership. Whether you are leading your team or you are outsourcing, key decision-makers set the tone. Focus on bringing out the best in your leadership and encourage them to do the same in turn. Give them opportunities to attend seminars and hone their leadership skills. Teams will be less likely to fear failure or bad ideas if they see that you are open to innovation and not afraid to fail. Make learning and growth a normalized part of the journey to the final product.
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