How is team collaboration defined?
Team collaboration is a complex process which asks for a fusion of skills. Expertise, dedication, tolerance, openness, compromise, and reliability are among the essential necessary characteristics that one should possess in order to become a great collaborator.
“Hawthorne studies” are a group of studies that observed and evaluated employees’ work in the 1920s and 1930s and found out that teamwork has applied positive changes in the working environment. According to the conducted studies, employees who were involved in teamwork were more efficient and receptive.
In reality, the first examples of teamwork were noticed during World War I and World War II when countries were looking for a way for people to work together in an effort to unify themselves. Today, group collaboration and teamwork became a practice that is applied in numerous settings such as companies, organizations, schools, sports teams, etc.
Companies and organizations now strive even more to increase and improve collaboration between employees and teams in their working setting. Team collaboration is a widely used practice as it enables people to grow and improve themselves in a collective environment. As opposed to individual working, teamwork and collaboration provide the possibility for shared knowledge, experience, and expertise.
What are the benefits of collaborating in a team?
In comparison with individual working, team work is proven to bring many advantages for the teams which are crucial for the overall project’s and company’s success.
The benefits that team collaboration brings cover a wide array of aspects that refer to the personal and professional development of the employees and ultimately to the success of the company.
Team collaboration is closely connected to team communication. In other words, poor collaboration can create barriers to effective communication and vice-versa. In practice, these two complement each other in numerous cases. But in order to be possible to have a great communication, the collaboration between teams in the workplace needs to be increased.
In efforts to establish good communication in the team, it is imperative for the team leader or manager to carefully and transparently delegate assignments and to create a receptive ‘teamwork’ setting. Leaders and managers have to foster collaboration so that the communication within the team improves and reaches a level where team members are relaxed enough to share important information.
In the end, having effective communication is what differentiates successful from unsuccessful teams. By encouraging effective communication and working in groups, everyone will get the chance to express their thoughts, ideas, and expertise on a particular matter.
Numerous studies have shown a strong link between diversity and productivity. For a fact, embracing the differences of the people around us in the workplace helps to explore and accept diverse opinions, experiences and perspectives. As a consequence, it is reasonable that team work is a good practice, because when working in a team one can focus on the useful attributes that everyone brings to the table and continuously learn new skills.
If anyone struggles with accepting different ideas and opinions it means that the team leads or managers need to motivate working on group projects. Team collaboration gives people the chance to discover others’ unique qualities and build upon them. By working in a team more often we can quickly start to appreciate our colleagues’ abilities and capabilities. This builds an effective and healthy relationship among the team members.
All in all, the targeted goals and objectives are more achievable when people combine and unite their diversities. So, we can sum up that, in many instances, diversity can be the key to achieving success.
Regardless of how difficult it may seem, collaboration can sometimes resolve and reduce conflict situations. In fact, when two people from one team don’t get along is logical that they would sit idly by and not try to resolve the problem themselves. As a consequence, this creates situations where important information regarding a particular project or task is withheld. This is where the leader should intervene. But the manner in which they interfere is crucial as it can make or break the working environment. So instead of arranging a meeting to resolve things directly, which sometimes can be helpful as well, leaders who will notice imbalance or conflicts in the team should try the strategy ‘people working together’.
Working together is a great way of improving and strengthening the relationships between teammates. When a team leader or a manager assigns group tasks to one team, they should ensure that different groups of people are paired so that everyone gets the chance to work with everyone. Effective collaboration and communication can help to create a strong bond between team members and can lead the team towards success.
Working as a team makes people more comfortable at taking risks by exploring new approaches and pursuing bold ideas. This is the case because team work creates a bond experience and a sense of support between team members. When working as a team, every employee is often sure that their team mates will support them even at times when an idea doesn’t seem to bring success to a particular project. In such instances, the responsibility for a failed project is dispersed to all team members.
In contrast, people who are working alone on a project usually doesn’t feel relaxed enough to explore unknown lands. This is because an important business project might depend solely on their strategy and performance, and if a certain idea turns out to be a failed attempt, they would feel the blame on their shoulders.
Gaining a sense of accomplishment
It is said that by working solo we can achieve very little, while by working in a group we can achieve very much. It is a fact that teamwork can have an exceptional impact on people’s productivity and performance. It creates a remarkable team synergy that is a result of the constant interaction and cooperation between the members of one team.
When there is synergy, understanding and cooperation – team’s performance rises and the impossible can be achieved. And when every member on the collaborative team contributes to the success of a project, the full credit is attributed to team.
Shared success can make the team feel a greater sense of accomplishment than working individually, and can encourages team work even more.
How to facilitate team collaboration with the support of iMindQ?
Successful companies and organizations are those which in an attempt to reach certain business goals, aside from having qualified people that possess all the indispensable personal and professional skills, use collaboration techniques and tools.
Therefore, in order to become a successful company that will enjoy all the mentioned-above benefits, managers should focus on increasing the team spirit and collaboration among the employees. In order to do so, it is required to try available collaboration techniques and tools and decide which is the most suitable for the particular working environment.
With the use of team collaboration tools leaders can guide their team and establish solid grounds for an effective and productive project completion. These supportive tools foster team work, stimulate creativity and blend skills.
Mind mapping is one practical technique that can promote and strengthen team work. And iMindQ is an example of a mind mapping tool that indeed improves team collaboration and therefore helps to establish good team communication, resolve conflict situations, embrace diversity, take risks and gain a sense of accomplishment.
There are two ways in which iMindQ assists teamwork in the workplace:
Microsoft® SharePoint Server
The first collaborative feature is in combination with Microsoft® SharePoint Server (SharePoint) which is a web application platform developed by Microsoft Corporation. It is integrated within companies’ document management and content management systems. This feature in iMindQ enables sharing your map and ideas with your colleagues and team members. In order to do this successfully, the user needs to set up a connection to SharePoint site, create and upload a map and, in the end, to edit and review the map by incorporating team member’s suggestions. This collaborative feature facilitates the process of sharing valuable information within the team and is ideal for remote team collaboration because it
The second collaborative feature that provides the creation, import and export of tasks and scheduling appointments is associated with MS Outlook. This feature enables users to create tasks in the two separate applications simultaneously.
With the Export functionality, once the user creates a task in iMindQ® by using the Task Info panel or any other method described in the User Manual, they can easily export the task(s) to MS Outlook. In situations when they need to inform the assigned resources via mail and keep track of these tasks in Outlook too they can also use the Export functionality.
With the Import functionality, on the contrary, is possible to import MS Outlook tasks in a mind map created with iMindQ. These tasks can be used while one team plans its projects and manages it tasks in iMindQ.
This feature helps to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpretation of assigned tasks and activities and the estimated time of their start and end.