Clarity and Consensus in Collaboration

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Today we’re digging into areas of team collaboration that the local church often sweeps under the rug. This includes unclear job descriptions, territorial communication, and top down consensus. All three of these threaten team collaboration. Let’s begin!

Clear Roles

When everyone knows what their job is, they can more confidently go about completing it. When everyone is aware of what their teammate’s job is, they can better support them and work together. Drifting occurs when there is confusion or lack of clarity there.

People don’t want to be told what to do, they want to be led. They will take ownership if they are apart of the solution. When we give them tasks, we are training them “to do,” but when we give them responsibility, we are empowering them “to lead.”

Sharing Information

As an organization grows, sharing information becomes more difficult yet still vital. The silo mentality of hoarding information destroys collaboration. Open communication is key.

I think we can break team communication into three categories. Identifying and using these will help communication to flow more efficiently:

  1. Instant Collaboration - Face to face, instant messaging, Skype, slack, etc.

  2. Document Collaboration - Shared documents/tools such as Google Drive.

  3. Structured Collaboration - This includes forms such as IRJs or vacation requests. Structured collaboration could also revolve around a topic like idea management and Q&A forums. By limiting their context, these areas become more focused and directed. Often times, idea forums can act as the nucleus for future collaboration.

Healthy Goal Setting

Even though your team may know what their goals are, it’s important to come to a consensus on deadlines. A healthy goal is specific; who does what by when. Don’t move forward until all team members are in agreement.

It’s best that every meeting end with agreed upon points of action. Write it down in the minutes and follow up on these tasks at the next meeting.

Consensus on the Vision

Repeat your vision regularly. By the time you’re sick of hearing it, your direct reports are just getting it. By the time they’re sick of it, their teams are just getting it. By the time their teams are sick of it, the congregation is just getting it. By the time the congregation gets sick of it, the community is just getting it. So repeat, repeat, repeat.

The church’s vision is too big to get lost in poor collaboration. We are the hope of the world, on 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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