You’ve probably heard a lot about teamwork, collaboration, and how important these things are. Today, though, let’s define cooperative abilities and discuss the elements that contribute to their development as well as the implications for your job.
Simply explained, cooperation is the ability to connect and cooperate with others in order to achieve shared objectives. It comprises open communication, attentive listening, taking responsibility for mistakes and respecting the difference among coworkers.
What are collaboration skills?
Collaboration skills are what enable you to work well with others. Most work environments require collaboration, so these skills are essential. These skills include understanding a variety of perspectives, managing priorities from everyone in the group, and meeting expectations as a reliable member of a team.
Successful collaboration requires a cooperative spirit and mutual respect. Employers typically seek employees that function effectively as part of a team and are willing to balance personal achievement with group goals.
- Alternate names: Teamwork skills, team building skills
How collaboration skills work?
The idea of collaboration seems easy enough, but in reality, it can be challenging to collaborate with others. Each person on a team has strengths and weaknesses, communication preferences, and personal goals. Company culture also influences collaboration. Some companies value collaboration and provide training on how to collaborate, while others assume that collaboration will naturally happen.
Using collaboration skills within a team may include:
- Keeping communication open and never withholding information necessary to carry out tasks
- Reaching a consensus about goals and methods for completing projects or tasks
- Offering recognition of the contributions of others on your team, giving credit where credit is due
- Identifying obstacles and addressing problems cooperatively as they occur
- Placing group goals above personal satisfaction and/or recognition, especially if you’re the leader
- Apologizing for missteps and forgiving others for mistakes
Types of collaboration skills
For successful collaboration, you need:
- Communication skill
- Emotional intelligence
- Respect for difference
Here’s a closer look at each of these types of collaboration skills.
1. Communication skill
Getting your point across can be a challenge. Within a team, you can’t be afraid to share your perspective, but you also can’t impose your viewpoint on everyone else. These communication skills are essential collaboration skills.
Active listening: Active listening goes beyond hearing the words your colleagues are saying. It means listening without judgment and ensuring you understand the meaning behind what they say. If you don’t understand, ask for clarification, and take the time to summarize what was said before moving on.2
Written communication: A lot of collaboration happens in writing, especially if you’re working remotely. We tend to rely on nonverbal cues to convey meaning, so it’s especially important to be mindful of how messages might be received when communicating in writing.
Verbal communication: What you say in a team environment is key, but how you say it is just as important. Sharing your perspective succinctly and respectfully disagreeing are essential aspects of verbal communication.
Nonverbal communication: Nonverbal communication, like body language and tone, impacts your verbal communication. The same words delivered in two different ways can convey two different meanings to those who are listening. Consider both what you’re saying and how you’re saying it when working closely with colleagues.
2. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is one of the most sought-after soft skills in the workplace. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your emotions, recognize emotions in others and react appropriately, and apply your emotions to tasks.4
When a team member is moody and snaps at another team member, those with emotional intelligence can determine that the irritability could be evidence of the moody member’s need for rest or assistance. Even issues such as perceived laziness or stubbornness are seen by those with emotional intelligence as symptoms of a larger issue that everyone can work together to address.
Some traits to cultivate to increase your emotional intelligence include:
- Not being offended easily
- Not taking criticism personally
- Being able to recognize and detach from strong emotions when needed
- Conflict resolution
Respect for different
In a group setting, particularly in large corporations with numerous branches, we can collaborate with coworkers from other cities, provinces, regions, and even other nations, together. It’s important to respect your coworkers and get rid of any unconscious biases if you want to collaborate successfully.
You should also be aware of actions that can unintentionally discriminate. For instance, a coworker from another location is being “ignored” or constantly brought up (in a negative way). Or a worker is isolated due to differences of thought. Try to assist the employee in integrating into the group.
Respecting differences includes:
- Open communication
- Subtly pay attention to regional and religious issues
- Build and manage expectations
- Facilitating group discussions
- Advocating for the use of individual strengths
- Build connections and common consensus
- Mention the views and stances of all group members.
- Collaboration skills enable you to work toward a common goal with others.
- Most work environments require collaboration, so these skills are essential.
- Collaboration skills include communication, emotional intelligence, and respect for the diversity of your colleagues.