To overcome significant challenges, excellent teamwork is required. When you face challenges as a team, the one quality that is most valuable in a team member is the ability to collaborate with other team members. Collaboration is more than just working together with one another. Whereas cooperation is working together agreeably, collaboration can be described as working together aggressively. In a collaborative effort, each team member brings value to the team. The sum of collaborative teamwork is always greater than its parts.
Do you see yourself as a collaborative team member? You may not be working against the team, but that does not mean you are working for it. Do you bring cooperation and added value to your team?
Team Members are Collaborators, not Competitors
In any team there is the potential for competition because all people have their goals, hopes and dreams that they want to achieve. Collaborative team members are more interested in completing others than competing with others. For a team to work together effectively, competition within the team must never reach a point where it hurts the team.
Be Supportive of Team Members
If you are preoccupied with looking out for your interests, you become naturally suspicious of everyone. To be a collaborative team member you need to suspend suspicions and become a team player. It comes down to attitude. You have to learn to assume other people’s motives are good unless proven otherwise. When you trust people, you will treat them better and will be more likely to create collaborative relationships.
Focus on the Team
Where you focus your attention says a lot about whether you compete with others or complete others. When your focus is on the team and not you, you are more likely to pass the baton instead of trying to finish the race yourself.
Create Victories through Multiplication
Many great things can be achieved through teamwork. Collaboration has a multiplying effect. It releases and harnesses your skills and that of the other team members.
How to Become a Collaborative Team Member
- Think Win-Win-Win: When you collaborate with other team members, you win, they win and the team wins. Find a competitor on your team and share information with that team member. Working together will benefit both you and the team.
- Complement Other Team Members: Look to team up with others that have strengths in the area of your weaknesses and vice versa. Seek those in the team with complementary gifts to yours and work together.
- Remove yourself from the Picture: Make it a habit of asking what is best for the team. Instead of always looking to promote your ideas, ask how the team would do if you were not involved in the solution. If it would do better, then propose ideas that promote and involve other people on the team.