How to Effectively Collaborate With Others and Work Well in Team Environments

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Whether you are apart of a cohesive business unit, frequently assigned to teams or simply required to collaborate as needed, working with others is a basic function of most roles. Collaboration often improves creativity, productivity and morale, and increases innovation, professional development and the organization’s success. As the old idiom goes, two heads are better than one.

Despite the benefits, there are a number of challenges to group work. Individuals are unique, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, experiences, preferences and work styles. Regardless of these differences, they must work together as a cohesive unit.

There are many instances where collaboration can not be avoided. Whether you tend to be introverted, simply prefer to work alone, or have found yourself in a dysfunctional group, it’s important to function effectively.  Consequently, you need to learn how to function in a team setting.

3 Tips to Assimilate Into a Team

1. Open Your Mind to Feedback

When you come up with a great idea, share it with the group, but try not to become defensive when your peers offer feedback. While you may be confident in your abilities, that doesn’t mean your colleges feel the same way. Plus, you do not know everything. Working alongside others requires give and take. Listen to their comments and reply in a respectful manner. You might find incorporating other people’s ideas actually makes your original plan even better.

2. Know When to Stop

It is frustrating to have a great idea that others cannot envision. If you have tried a few times to get your colleagues behind a plan they just aren’t interested in, you have to know when to let it go. As an independent thinker, this can be very difficult, because you probably feel like you know best. However, if the others refuse to get on board, adjust your plan, incorporating the ideas of others, to ensure progress is made.

3. Focus on Shared Team Goals

When you are passionate about something, it can be easy to focus on the work. Unfortunately this can become difficult in a team setting, as responsibilities are shared and you are working together towards a broader vision. Achieve greater success with your ideas by expanding your mindset to include all key points important to everyone in the group. Taking this approach shows you are a team player who wants everyone to be happy, instead of someone just looking out for themselves.

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