5 Ways to Grow your Internal Collaboration Skills

5 Ways to Grow your Internal Collaboration Skills

August 24, 2022
Shari Steinbach
Business Skills

By Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor

Working on a program or project by yourself often seems much easier than involving others. In fact, participating with a group can be somewhat frustrating, but for creative professionals, workplace collaboration is an increasingly critical part of the job. Projects that involve marketing or technology for example, often require working with a variety of departments that have different skill sets, priorities and goals. Good workplace collaboration includes a comprehensive range of skills such as open communication, problem solving, accountability and empathy. To help you develop your internal collaboration skills start with these 5 tips:

  1. Get out of your comfort zone – Look for projects that are out of your area of expertise so you have to rely on others to help you. Think about seeking opportunities with the purchasing department, IT, corporate training, or communications. Look for areas where you can utilize your knowledge and skills while also learning from colleagues in other departments.
  2. Find a mentor or become one – Ask if your company has a formal mentorship program and if not, seek out coworkers with strong collaboration skills to work with you. There may also be an opportunity to share what you know with others. Learn how to become both a good mentor and a good mentee.
  3. Use clear communication – You become a great collaborator when your communication is both timely and clear. Use technology such as file-sharing tools, screen-sharing, the cloud, and project-management software to support your efforts to collaborate and communicate. Remember that other departments may not understand all the acronyms or wellness words your team may use, so make sure you are clear with meanings. Likewise, if you don’t understand certain terms used by others, make sure to ask.
  4. Participate in team-building events – Not everyone loves team-building activities but the time spent with a group to learn more about each individual helps strengthen collaboration abilities. Think about ways you might include such an activity at meetings or during a call as a way to encourage connection, communication and better morale.
  5. Join key industry groups – Joining industry associations and attending conferences are both excellent ways to help develop collaboration skills. Look for ways to volunteer on an association committee or make an effort to connect with a new group of individuals at your next conference. This will not only expand your network outside of your workplace, but also help you fine tune your collaboration skills.

As you go about your work day, listen to the input of others and consider how their ideas may add value to your work. Make sure to support their ideas when possible and provide praise and credit. These daily actions will help you build strong workplace collaboration skills.