5 More Tips for Effective Collaboration


Last week we discussed the first three keys for team collaboration. Today we have the last five tips to facilitate healthy collaboration within our teams.

4. Participation

We participate in collaboration and we expect others to participate.

Healthy team collaboration depends on 100% participation, 100% of the time. Everyone has a part to play and if they don’t play their part, they are rendered useless and the whole team suffers.

The role of the leader is to help define each person’s strengths and weaknesses and position them accordingly. Clearly define each one’s role and communicate their strengths to them.

5. Mediation

We negotiate and collaborate together to find a middle point.

The days of the boss are long gone. We can’t tell people what to do, we must lead them to do it. Get your team to come to a consensus solution. It’s slower at the beginning, but it gets faster as it goes along because everyone takes ownership of it.

We mediate by pointing everyone to the problem to solve and then to the consensus solution. This keeps them focused on the benefits of the team win rather than individual wins.

6. Reciprocity

We share and we expect sharing in return through reciprocity.

Reciprocity is all about sharing. The team improves when they are able to openly share with one another. Share ideas. Share wins. Share losses. Share resources. Share strengths.

We go further when we share and when we are shared with.

7. Reflection

We think and we consider alternatives.

Taking time to think and reflect is vital. We learn so much when we take a step back and reflect.

A great way to encourage reflective thinking within the team is holding debriefs after a project or event and asking these questions:

  1. What went right?

  2. What went wrong?

  3. What was confusing?

  4. What was missing?

  5. What are the opportunities?

  6. What are the problems?

  7. What could we cut?

8. Engagement

We proactively engage rather than wait and see.

Lack of engagement is deadly to a team. Imagine if someone in an orchestra decided not to play their part. Their performance would suffer. If a member is not engaged in the process, there is no need for them on the team.

Sometimes, a lack of engagement is fostered by a fear of failure. As a team leader, you can help with this by not penalizing mistakes to the point that people stop taking risks and become afraid to fail.

Making the Church’s Purpose Clear

The purpose of the church can come across as confusing to the unchurched world because the church keeps fighting internally about it. Churches aren’t unified in their purpose. Yet Jesus said that if we were one, the world would know that Jesus is God.

If we are internally focused, we will be in disunity. But if we are externally focused and purposeful in our mandate to reach the lost, then we can be unified and not competitive with each other. Then the world would know that the church is the hope of the world, on a mission to reach every available person, at every available time, by every available means, with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by creating churches that unchurched people love to attend.

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