How does your team collaborate? We believe you never really know how a team collaborates until you understand each member as an individual collaborator. Sometimes teams need greater alignment, agreement, or action in order to improve the way that the culture interacts with each other. In this episode, we talk about what we’ve learned about collaboration in the context of who you are as a person, who you are on a team, and who you are within an organizational culture. We discuss our three-step process to help teams learn about their individual collaboration styles and how you and your team can become better collaborators together. Enjoy!
How We Help Teams Collaborate
Each one of us has collaborative patterns and preferences when it comes to how we collaborate on a team. This is what we call our individual collaborative style. At Leadership Vision, we want to peel back the layers and learn how each member of your team collaborates on an individual level.
3 Steps to Learn About Your Collaboration Style
We learn about collaboration styles in a three step discussion process. It’s important to dissect the collaboration styles of your team because we can get tunnel vision on how we collaborate due to patterns that we’ve established with a team over a period of years. In our three step process, we ask clients to zoom out and think about their collaboration preferences.
1. Personal Story
The first step to understanding your collaboration style is to discuss your personal story. We ask our clients to describe memories from when they were asked to collaborate with someone else or with a group of other people. How did the environment shape the way that they collaborate? What was the event or the events around what they were collaborating on? And what were those shaping experiences? We want people to spend time reflecting on how those early shaping experiences, specifically before the age of 22, have carried on the behaviors and patterns that they learned. And how do they show up today in their unique collaborative style?
2. Early Professional Experience
The second step in the process, which is the bridge into a deeper conversation on collaborative teams, is to ask people to think about an early professional experience when they were collaborating and that collaboration was a success. What we want to do in this step of the discussion is to illustrate a time early in their professional careers when there were behavioral patterns and preferences to how they collaborated.
3. Current Professional Experience
The third and final step in the process is to discuss their current professional experience. We ask clients to describe their behavior patterns and preferences in their current professional life and how they experience collaboration in the present time.
How Does this Apply to Teams?
In learning about personal stories and experiences of others, people start to build into the health of their team culture by understanding who they are as individuals. They often realize that they have more in common with other people than they thought, and it can help with a shorthand when it comes to collaboration. Additionally, when you have people talking together, sharing their stories together, it becomes a collective story of how they’ve learned about each other’s collaboration preferences. We know that the brain thinks in story form and remembers strongly when story and metaphor are used. So even there, we’re applying very specific principles to how people are going to learn about each other, yet in the background, we know it’s not just about the individuals, it’s how they are going to show up as collaborators and that’s fundamentally important when it comes to collaborating on a team.
Then what surfaces in the context of that culture conversation is understanding what teams need. Sometimes teams need greater alignment, sometimes they need agreement, and sometimes they need action. We want to help teams understand themselves and the collaborative culture of their team.
How Does Your Team Collaborate?
Think about how your team collaborates. What does your team need right now? Do you need a greater alignment around what it is you’re supposed to do? Do you need agreement perhaps about who’s supposed to do what, or do you need action? Do you need someone to step in and get the ball moving? Or do you need accountability? Shoot me an email at email@example.com. We’d love to hear from you and learn more about the collaboration styles on your team.
About The Leadership Vision Podcast
The Leadership Vision Podcast is a weekly show sharing our expertise in the discovery, practice, and implementation of a strengths-based approach to people, teams, and culture. We believe that knowing your Strengths is only the beginning. Our highest potential exists in the ongoing exploration of our talents. Subscribe to the Leadership Vision Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Please contact us if you have ANY questions about anything you heard in this episode or if you’d like to talk to us about helping your team understand the power of Strengths.
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