Throughout life, one is faced with a wide range of assignments. Some are done alone while others require a team. Working with others is something everyone has to do, whether it’s for school or work. But how can it be completed effectively?
The answer is dependent on preference, since there are plenty of ways to collaborate. However, there are certain things everyone should strive to do or look for when working with others.
For starters, things like getting a second opinion on work can be a collaboration. Having a second set of eyes can be very efficient, even if it’s just to spot spelling mistakes. Overall, having someone look at a project is bound to improve the final product.
Hearing what others say about the work can also rekindle someone’s confidence. There are plenty of people who come up with great ideas but doubt themselves before pursuing them. Bringing up a concept in a small group allows others to give their thoughts on it. Which can give someone the opportunity to get ideas on how to improve it.
Collaborating has more to offer than just sharing ideas. Doing projects in a group setting gives people plenty of chances to improve their skills.
Mesten Hiltz-Andre, a third-year student at Algonquin College in Ottawa, says his collaborative experiences have played a huge part in his success as an artist.
“It gives you a chance to experience how other people do things. In art, there is no wrong way to do things,” he says.
Being able to work with others has allowed Hiltz-Andre, and many others, to learn from each other. This process has helped them sharpen their respective skills.
When working with others, communication is vital. It’s important to be on the same page. Whether in sports or writing, it’s crucial to ensure all group members know exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.
Communicating is also important because it plays a role in determining who works together.
Tamer Soliman, owner of March Forth Creative, says team building is essential. While working on his films, Soliman relies on various people to complete the project.
“I need a whole bunch of people to put it all together. So, try to find people who don’t have your skillset,” he says.
Having people with a variety of strengths sheds light on multiple perspectives and gives the project the ability to advance.
Soliman says it is important to value what others have to say. Having a group who has shared interest in the project is great. However, making sure the team is happy is the most important part of collaboration. Ensuring every group member has a voice helps strengthen trust between teammates. It also makes the activity easier for everyone.
Being skilled or talented can get someone far. However, when looking at the bigger picture in almost everything in life, a single person can’t do everything.
Some people don’t understand this at first, and it destroys team chemistry. In some cases, it even causes the team to abandon them.
Kevin Marks-Beaubrun, a teacher and coach at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School in Ottawa, says team sports are a great way to learn about efficiently working with others.
“The benefits you get from sports aren’t just physical,” he says. “Sports teach you to hold your teammates in high regard. This allows people to push each other to do the best they can.”
Marks-Beaubrun says communication is an undervalued lesson learned through sports.
“When people try to control the group or team, the result is often failure. Don’t try to have a louder voice. Try to listen to your teammates with a positive and open-minded attitude. Without collaboration, you won’t have any success,” Marks-Beaubrun says.
So when it comes to working in a group, making sure everyone is happy should always be a priority. Although these strategies work for a lot of people, they should not be restrictive. Getting to know oneself and their team can help people discover what will help their projects succeed.