There are a growing number of chat tools that allow for collaboration. Have you ever wondered why collaboration is so important? Why is collaboration important? How can collaboration increase your work efficiency and productivity?
It is quite simple: Collaboration makes us better. No matter what definition or business journal you use, collaboration has one goal: to improve your work.
Collaboration has an ugly side. It can slow down your progress. It can slow you down. It’s common for coworkers and colleagues to get bogged down by useless chatter.
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Start training. Here are seven strategies that will help you avoid unnecessary chatter and get to work.
1. Start with the End in Your Mind
Whatever you are working on, there should be a goal or outcome. You should have a predetermined goal or desired outcome. When you start any type of collaboration, keep your goal in mind. You will be able to focus better in your interactions if you make it a habit to keep the end in sight at the beginning of every chat, email, or video call.
2. Keep Channel or Tool Purity
Microsoft Teams, as with most real-time collaboration tools offers channels to help you focus the discussion. It’s almost certain that someone will add a comment or link to a GIF that will distract from the important discussion. To keep the channel tidy and purposeful, gently bring the discussion back to the original topic.
3. Even if you are only creating them for yourself, create collaboration boundaries
You have unprecedented access to your entire team with real-time collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Google Hangouts. This is incredible – until it’s not. You must have enough space to do your job and produce. You should set limits on how you use collaboration tools to improve your productivity. Your team should be aware of your boundaries so that they can respect them and perhaps even copy them to improve their productivity.
4. Ask one question, expect one answer
Complex, complex questions can be difficult to answer, especially when they are asked via team-wide collaboration tools. Asking one question at a given time is a good idea. Then, let your team respond accordingly. Avoid compound question madness (let’s count them down)
“Hey guys! Where can I find the presentation file [that is one] for the client we worked with last September (anyone remember their names [that’s two ]?)?]? I need the chart that was created for that presentation. Or maybe the data we used to create it. Is anyone aware of where the data [that’s three] is located? Or the chart [that’s 4]?
Four. There are four questions. That’s terrifying. It’s not something anyone wants to do.
You can improve your communication skills so you can ask one well-thought-out question. Avoid stream-of-consciousness typing in your real-time collaboration tools. It will be appreciated by your team members!
5. Do not be distracted – or distract
It’s easy to get distracted by the hilarious GIF your colleague posted in your collaboration channel. It may be perfectly appropriate to do so… but that’s a slippery slope my friend. You will soon see a GIF war on a channel that is supposed be dedicated to Q3 strategic plan.
(Oops. It’s so tempting! We all fall prey to temptation …)
This is a problem.
Be part of the solution, not part of it. You can create a channel for everyone to post GIFs, while the rest of us get some work done.
6. Avoid information overload
The reason for the collaboration is good.