Tips on Collaborating in Teams
Few people will dispute that one of the signs of a great team can be seen when it collaborates effectively.
This post offer three tips on how to facilitate the process, which is also one of the five core leadership traits (of ‘enabling others to act’) in Kouzes Posner’s The Leadership Challenge.
These tips are tried-and-tested and help promote understanding as well as shared contribution from team members:
1. Elicit ideas through activities. It may sound easy but, in many parts of Asia this can be like pulling teeth! So we recommend a structured approach over multiple phases. This can include asking team constituents to share their views in writing on index cards and then displaying them visually on flip charts (as part of an interactive meeting) and then use the output as part of the team’s ongoing project.
2. Engage emotion. ‘Emotion’ is a word that often conjures up images of unpredictability and risk… and as a result (especially in Asia) managers may be loathe to use it. This is a mistake! Emotion is central to commitment and contribution, and needs to be engaged. Usually a great way to engage emotion is to use very visual examples, or stories (or both… which is why movies are so effective) to explore areas of your business or the problem you may be trying to solve. Doing so brings the team engagement levels right up… and their willingness to contribute!
3. ‘Tangibilise’. One of the challenges in Asia is matching concept to context. In our experience this has resulted in huge costs, not to mention missed opportunities, not in the least when a team member may agree with a concept, yet have a totally different idea of applying it in context.
The way a team can get overcome this challenge is by immersing its meetings in the places where their decisions take place, and obtaining feedback from as many parties involved. The more tangible and real this is, the more effective will team collaboration (and confidence) become. Risk aversion is higher in Asia than in Western societies… therefore getting tangible examples of how ‘success’ looks like is a must-do.
The Leadership Challenge includes a team collaboration audit, which is a great way to see how your team is performing against internationally-researched standards. Don’t miss Thailand’s first ever session on the 14th and 15th of September!
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