April 1, 2023

Collaboration - Getting Back On Track At Work When Things Go Sideways

Working together, getting along at work and being an effective productive team takes collaboration (along with many other skills). Collaboration can go sideways quickly, however putting things back together does not happen as fast.

There are a number of reasons that collaborations face challenges, such as:

  • personality clashes and working style differences
  • lack of agreement on vision, purpose and reason for collaboration
  • expectations that have not been voiced or clarified
  • unchecked assumptions
  • expectations that don’t get met
  • miscommunication or missed communication
  • conflict that has not been addressed

When teamwork breaks down and collaborations are challenged, leaders find themselves spending more time on:

  • crisis management and rumour control
  • projects that have become stalled
  • fixing damaged relationships
  • helping to restore trust
  • managing increased stress

Leaders will be well served to spend time and energy keeping collaborations and teams healthy, working well together and addressing issues (even if they seem small) as they arise. Little issues become big issues when they are not addressed. Here are a few tips to help your team when collaboration needs help:

  • communicate openly, clearly and often
  • invite input
  • provide feedback and be open to receiving it
  • avoid assumptions
  • address issues early on
  • provide opportunities for the team to engage in projects together

These actions go a long way in building trust, improving collaborating and creating a better workplace for all.

About the author 

Charmaine Hammond

Charmaine Hammond, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), MA, BA, is a highly sought-after business keynote and workshop speaker (having presented to more than 500 000 people worldwide), entrepreneur, best-selling author, and educator who teaches and advocates the importance of resolving conflict and building healthy workplace relationships.

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