Workplace Collaboration: 13 Tips for a Smooth Workflow

team and feedback

Working in an office means you have to work well with others. Most of the time, your job is connected to someone else’s. Thus, it requires you to complete the task together or meet halfway at some point. Every office is the same. A digital marketing agency is no different when it comes to workplace collaboration.

Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable working with others. Some people like to accomplish their tasks by themselves. Others are open to teamwork, but they become passive-aggressive when things don’t go as they planned. Some people won’t try at all. All types of employees experience these things. At some point, you have to face what’s happening and learn how to deal with them.

If you’re new to the workforce or lost on how to work with others, then you should read the tips. They can teach you a few things on how to come up with a stress-free day in the office whenever you have to reach out to your colleagues to finish the job.

  1. Pay attention to how you communicate

Most teams, duos or any group that collaborate fails because of the way they communicate. Some groups talk, but they don’t listen. No one pays attention to ideas and opinions thrown during the discussion. They end up wasting their time talking and coming up with no solutions. Meanwhile, the shy and quiet ones don’t speak at all. They allow others to lead the conversation even if they have something valuable to bring to the table.

Effective communication isn’t extremes or opposites. It’s a balance between speaking, listening, and understanding. If one person talks, you should learn to listen and digest when he or she says. That way, you can correctly interpret what he or she means. Also, learning to listen is a way to contribute something valuable to the discussion. You can offer your insights and perspective because you understood what you were discussing.

  1. Ask questions to keep the conversation open

As much as possible, try not to begin talks with statements. Being straightforward limits the group’s brainstorming sessions. You should try asking questions instead of using declarative sentences. Questions are also useful in clearing out issues and misunderstandings.

  1. Get help

You won’t be able to do things by yourself most of the time. There’s always something that’s beyond your capacity and knowledge. Your office might have new technology brought in, and you don’t know how to operate it. You might face a frustrated client without knowing the right words to say to make him or her calm down. It’s okay not know what to do. The beautiful thing about these situations is it offers you an opportunity to learn.

When faced with the unknown, do not strike without being prepared. Ask a colleague or find a mentor to help you out. Getting help isn’t a sign of weakness, but proof that you are willing to try different things to become better at something unfamiliar.

  1. Offer guidance

Don’t put a limit on learning. Offer to guide a coworker struggling with reports. Help a colleague to practice his or her spiel for a big presentation. Assist a senior on how to use the printer. These small things won’t help you finish your job, but it can build a relationship with those people you lend a hand. Remember, relationships are essential in business. People are likely to do your favors when they feel good in your presence.

  1. Don’t spend your energy on trivial matters

Don’t gossip about other people in the office. Don’t contribute to the gossip. If you’ve already made your point or statement in something, then you should hold your tongue. Try not to waste your energy trying to change the mind of your teammate or manager who is already set on a decision. Allow them to realize the byproduct of the effect of their decision by themselves. Trying to change someone’s mind is just a waste of time. Instead, you should use your mind to finish your tasks and improve your skills.

  1. Give credit and say thank you

You should share your success especially when it’s a result of a collaborative effort, Claiming all the glory for yourself would only make your coworkers refrain from working with you. Always acknowledge the contributions of your peers and say thank you to everyone who helped you get past a tough time.

  1. Have some boundaries

Don’t be a “yes” person. Don’t agree with an opinion if you don’t feel the same way. More importantly, don’t accept a task when you know you don’t have the time and energy to work on them. Having some boundaries gives your team time to adjust their schedule. It gives them the opportunity to find ways to work around their jobs to accommodate additional tasks.

Limiting the things you take on also takes you off uncomfortable situations. You don’t have spread yourself thin to hit your targets. With a few boundaries, you can work at a comfortable pace.

  1. Treat people with respect

Be respectful of others. Retain a professional stance when in the office. Be genuinely polite and kind to your officemates. Don’t butt in or cut off anyone who speaks. Wait until the person finishes before you speak up. Don’t insult other people. Don’t call them by different names or put down their ideas. Instead, encourage a workplace that gives out praises more than criticisms. Giving out praise uplifts the spirit and contributes to a positive environment.

  1. Learn to trust

You are sure to meet different types of people and different personalities. Some of their traits won’t sit well with you, but you should still learn to trust them. Trust boosts the team’s morale which can result in a harmonious workplace. Most companies have team-building activities to know one another better. Team-building activities can also create a sense of unity among coworkers. During ordinary days, you can hold an informal staff meeting to see how each one is doing. You can also discuss your team’s goals, dreams, and vision. Hosting informal gatherings is also a great time to encourage other employees to share their questions, concerns, and advice.

  1.  Give feedback

Most workplaces neglect feedback. Whether it’s positive or negative, feedback is essential. It’s one way of sharing the effect of your colleague’s actions towards a project or the group. It’s also an acceptable manner to express how your team can improve their performance.

When giving out feedback, it’s essential to watch for the tone of your voice and your delivery. You should always ensure to give constructive feedback. That way, you can avoid conflict and end up with hard feelings.

  1. Be graceful in accepting feedback

Part of being in an organization is giving and receiving feedback. If you wish to know how well you’re faring, then you should be ready to hear what other people have to say about your work. Don’t feel bad towards the person giving you their opinion. They are only offering their knowledge and expertise for you to improve. Though not everyone provides constructive criticism, you should still listen to what the other person has to say.

  1. Appreciate people in the office

Don’t be the person that only clocks in and out on time. You should be the person who takes the time to say “good morning,” greet them during their birthdays or cracks a joke to make the other person feel good. These simple things make your team feel valuable and important. At the same time, it shows them that you care. You’re not in the office to get things done. You’re also there to cherish the moments you have with your colleagues.

  1. Get over your fear of confrontation and conflict

The office is not all rainbows and sunshine. It also comes with a bratty secretary, an arrogant manager, an impatient team leader, or a lazy colleague. When you have these people on your team, you may have to step up and put them in their place. You don’t want them to be the reason for your group’s failure. You shouldn’t shy away from fear and confrontation. Sometimes, these are the things you need for a smooth workflow.

What you see on TV is the same as real life (minus the witty comebacks and wild office parties). You face challenging times and have to work with a lot of people for a project. Often, things end well. Most of the time, they don’t. If you want to get past difficult people and demanding jobs, then these tips are for you.

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