Being part of a team with collaborative and positive culture is a dream shared by all professionals, no matter what career they are pursuing. I am a huge believer that in order to be part of one, I have to first be the one who promotes it — as I couldn’t ask for something that I don’t deserve to have.
Fostering team collaborations is always a thought in the back of my mind, as I understand that everyone in the team has their own unique value that could provide to the team. Being able to leverage them not only helps the team, but it also builds up confidence within individuals and makes them feel like they are part of the team.
Ultimately, I believe that while it is critical to growing my skills and knowledge within my role and the industry, it is also important to build great relationships within the company, especially people I work directly with. I would always learn something new that I would never know to be helpful in the future.
Here are a few key routines I have that helps me to build collaborations within my team.
Having regular one-on-ones with team members have a lot of benefits, and sometimes the benefit outweighs team activities.
I found most of the time individuals behave differently in a social environment versus in a personal one on one environment. One-on-ones give me a different side of an individual, which helps me to understand them more. It is when I could build a personal relationship with them, provide feedback and truly listen to them.
Moreover, every individual has their own personality type and love languages. Being able to understand their preferred way of communication would help me connect with them so much better. It’s difficult to know an individual’s personality type purely through team activities and daily work interactions.
Team retrospectives unfold the great and not-so-great things the team did over a period of time. No matter how teams work together to get projects out of the way, I believe that it is important to have frequent team retrospectives to reflect on how the team could do better.
As a member of the team, it is essential for me to take on action items that help the team move forward, as well as encouraging others to do the same. Sometimes we might not have a solution to a problem after a retrospective, it is important to keep them as visible as possible within the team area so that we could continuously think and discuss it throughout the day.
Another lesson I learnt is that team retrospectives only work when all members are truly participating in them. It is important to eliminate any distractions while retrospective is happening. Distractions include cellphones and laptops that are visible within the meeting room, no matter someone is using the devices or not. Otherwise, it is a waste of everybody’s time and the meeting would not be efficient.
When it comes to initiatives, I am referring to actions and/or projects that an individual takes beyond their core responsibilities. I see them as a remedy to most problems with existing team processes. I strongly believe that there is always a better way to do certain things. It could be automating existing processes or trying out new tools. Processes are guidelines on how a team should follow to finish a task, but it does not imply perfectness.
Thus, suggesting and taking on initiatives towards solving a mutual problem that a team has is a key element towards a collaborative team environment. When every member of the team is taking on initiatives, it magnifies the level of collaborations and positivity within the team.