Building a Collaborative Team Environment

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  • 0:05 Team Collaboration & a…
  • 1:38 Clarify Roles to Avoid…
  • 2:13 Communicate Honestly &…
  • 3:00 Develop Trust
  • 3:48 Appreciate Team Diversity
  • 4:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Christopher Frey

Chris has taught corporate project management courses and has a master's degree in project management.

Collaborative teamwork is essential to business and individual success in today's workplace. In this lesson, you'll learn about different ways to build a team environment that promotes and supports collaboration.

Team Collaboration and a Common Purpose

Have you ever been part of a team where there was no collaboration? You may have felt that everyone was out for themselves or that there was no sharing of knowledge or trust among team members. Collaborative teams work together to reach common goals. Working on a team that is truly collaborative is a richly rewarding experience. Good collaboration promotes team bonding, synergy, innovation, and trust, while developing employee skills and knowledge.

Now, let's examine some characteristics of collaborative teams that can be promoted by team leaders. These characteristics include:

  • A common purpose
  • Clear team roles
  • Honest communication
  • A culture of trust
  • Appreciation of team diversity

Team members need to know and understand their team's purpose. Defining and communicating this common purpose will help team members achieve their goal and bring them together. If you're a team leader, take the following steps to develop a common purpose and answer the question: Who are we and why do we exist?

  1. Create a team charter that outlines the team's purpose and goals
  2. Identify the various roles and responsibilities within the team and why each role is important
  3. Review the charter with the team and allow each team member to provide feedback and ask questions, which will ensure clarity and promote team member ownership
  4. Use the team charter to help prioritize team actions

Clarify Roles to Avoid Confusion

An important part of the team charter is role and responsibility definition, which may require clarification from time to time. Make sure there is clarity and agreement among the team on what the roles are, the responsibilities of each role, and what each team member's role is. Some ideas for clarifying roles on the team include:

  • Identify the roles in the charter
  • Review these roles with the team
  • Educate the team on each role's function and importance in achieving objectives
  • As tasks are assigned, make sure there is a role assigned to that task

Communicate Honestly and Frequently

Have you or another team member ever said, 'I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do next.' Effective communication can go a long way toward eliminating confusion and misunderstanding while keeping the team focused on the tasks at hand. Communication should be frequent, effective, and honest. To help team communication, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Communication should be frequent
  • Communication should contain just the right amount of information, but not too much
  • Communication is two-way; provide opportunities for feedback or questions
  • Allow the team to work with management to determine the form of communication
  • Include 'positive nuggets' to recognize team member contributions and outstanding efforts

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