Collaboration: To work with others toward a shared goal.
Every one of us is reliant on others in order to get our jobs done. That means that collaboration is a core skill that we must develop in order to be successful.
So, what are the core skills you need in order to be a better collaborator?
Build relationships before you need them
When you need to collaborate with someone, you will be more successful if you already have an established relationship with them. To do this, you need to ensure that you:
Balance the task with the relationship
By definition, you are working with someone else to accomplish a goal or task. So, it is easy to get so focused on the task that you forget about the relationship.
Use these tips to stay in balance:
Collaborate just for the sake of Collaboration
There are a lot of things that you can do by yourself. But, just because you can, doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone. Create an opportunity to work with someone else so that you can build that relationships. An easy way to do this is to ask someone to ‘poke holes’ in your plan.
The premise of this episode is that we are all interviewing for our job every day. The problem is that most of us don’t think about that after we get through the honeymoon period. We start off a new job and we are on our best behavior, but over time, we get comfortable in our role and don’t give much thought to the fact that every day counts.
My philosophy is that every day is an interview. This may sound like a pessimistic viewpoint, but it isn’t. I’m not coming at it from a victim’s point of view. I’m coming at it from the take-your-fate-into-your-own-hands point of view. I’m doing what is within my control to ensure that, if I lose my job, I have set myself up to be as successful as possible finding the next job.
My philosophy is made up of 4 parts:
Interviewing for my current job – adding value and establishing relationships across my company so that, when management is deciding about which people to cut, my name shows up at the bottom of the list.
Interviewing for my next job – Every person that you work with at your current job is likely to either move to a new job at another company or move to a new job within your company at some point. You want to make the kind of impression on them that, when they do make the move, they recommend you. That kind of impression happens day-by-day, week-by-week.
Keep your resume up to date – Again, if you lose your job unexpectedly, you are probably not going to be in the best frame of mind. Putting together a resume in that frame of mind is not ideal. It is also difficult to remember all of the things that you’ve accomplished that should be reflected on your resume when you haven’t updated it in a long time. Keep your resume up to date so that it is ready for you as soon as you need it.
For resources about how to do this effectively, check out these 2 episodes:
Episode 9 – Preparing for Your Annual Review
Episode 2 – Time Bound Activities
Network every day – Most jobs are found through acquaintances. By staying active with your network, you will be top of mind when someone knows about a job that needs to be filled, and they think you might be a good fit. If you get laid off unexpectedly, you don’t want to spend time warming up your network. Stay active on linked in. Make a practice of reaching out to people within your network regularly. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just say hi. You just want to remind the person that you are part of their network.
Learning to recognize unproductive worry will help you eliminate stress that you are manufacturing for reasons you can’t control.
When you find yourself worried about something, ask yourself:
1. Are you worrying about something that doesn’t have an answer?
2. Are you making up a chain of events?
3. Are you looking for the perfect outcome?
4. Do you feel like you overlooked something?
5. Are you trying to control everything?
In this episode, we talk about how to identify unproductive worry and turn it into productive worry by taking a few simple steps.
Great Customer Experience is something that a lot of companies aspire to, but not a lot of companies achieve. And, as we know, it is the people within the company that create the experience for their customers, so you have a direct impact on the success of your company.
There is a subtle difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience, but it is an important one. In this episode, we look at the difference and look at a recent experience I had with a company. I called Customer Service to get a piece of equipment returned, but it was the Customer Experience that left an impression with me.
Have you ever had a bad day, where it seemed like each little thing that happened pushed you further and further toward the edge of the cliff and then eventually – BAM – you were over the edge?
Its happened to all of us. But, what I’ve noticed is that some people reach that edge much more quickly than others. Some people are able to recover much more quickly than others.
Why is that?
I believe that it partially has to do with the amount of reserve the person has.
Here is a simple example:
You have $32 to your name. When the car all of a sudden stops starting and you find out it will cost $500 to fix it, that is a lot of stress. You had no reserve – in this case, of money – to be able to handle the stress.
If, instead, you had $,1000 in the bank and you had the same issue – it may still be stressful, but it doesn’t send you over the edge. You had a bigger reserve, which means that your better able to deal with the stress of the event as well as recover from it.
The idea of reserve doesn’t just apply to money. You also need a reserve of:
Listen to our episode on creating a North Start List
One of the most important ways you can influence others is by building rapport with them. And, the way you build rapport is to understand the lens that they see the world through. The more you know about how people approach their world, the better able you are to reach them.
And, this starts with understanding your own lens. One of the ways you can do this is to understand your personality traits. There are several personality traits assessments available – all of them have their own approach, but all of them have value in helping you understand the differences between people.
In this episode, we dive into one of the oldest personality trait assessments, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.
This is the final episode in our series on the 5 components of change. If you missed the others, start here.
One of the things that we’ve tried to emphasize is that you are responsible for your own adoption of the change. We continue that theme in this episode – forming a new habit and making the change stick as part of your everyday routine are the final components of change.
Anytime we encounter a change, it knocks us off our routine, which means that we are likely to take a hit to our productivity. Your responsibility is to recognize that you will likely take a productivity hit, and make whatever adjustments are necessary to accommodate the change.
It may be a mental adjustment—giving yourself permission to be frustrated, but knowing that it will eventually pass as the change becomes your new routine.
It may also be a physical adjustment—recognizing that something is going to take more time than it used to because you are having to learn a new process or routine, and building in extra time to get things done.
You also have responsibility to go after answers to questions that come up that weren’t addressed as part of the training.
By taking an active role in the change, you are ensuring your success.
Knowledge is the 3rd component of change, and it is what most people think of when they think of change management - giving the people who need to make a change the information necessary to make the change. It typically takes the form of training.
Your responsibility in this component of change is to make sure you are giving it the attention it deserves. If training is provided, you need to take responsibility to attend it and pay attention. This isn’t always easy because we are all busy. But, your role is to make sure you make the time necessary to get the knowledge you need in order to adopt the change. Without this knowledge, you can’t be successful.
Miss the first 2 episodes in this series?
Components of Change: Awareness
Components of Change: Desire
Every person has their own desire to accept any given change. This means that a single change communicated to a group of people will automatically have different responses by each person in the group. Some will adopt it easily, some will resist. The important thing to remember is that the desire to adopt the change may or may not have anything to do with the change itself.
Your desire to accept a change is within your control. It is your responsibility to get your desire to adopt the change from wherever you are to acceptance. That means you’ve got to put in the work to get yourself there. You’ve got to figure out why you are resistant.
If you need more answers, go get them.
If you need training, find out when the training will be held.
And, if you can’t get yourself to the point where you accept the change, then figure out what the next step needs to be. In extreme examples, it might mean moving on.
Get your free copy of 4 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Acceptance Of Change
We are all impacted by change. Some of them we accept easily, others, not-so-much. But, even if it isn’t a change you are excited about, you can make the whole process better for yourself by understanding the components of change and coming up with a process for dealing with change that works well for you. I believe that one of the most overlooked components of change is the fact that it is very personal.
Over the course of 4 episodes, we are going to dive into the components of change, and in this episode, we start where is all begins, Awareness.
I teach people how to thrive at work. Let's connect on LinkedIn
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