Dec
01

How to Drive Team Collaboration: Use Two Pairs of Glasses

by  Sonia Di Maulo  |  Leadership Development

If you wear glasses, you know that owning two pairs is good practice. If your focus is on increasing collaboration and cohesiveness within your team, get ready to try on a new look! The goal? Cultivate collaboration and boost creativity, work performance and passion.

Perfecting our Critical Eye
When we observe performance (our own and that of others) we tend to focus on what was missed or not done right. In management, the sharper our critical eye, the faster we climb the ladder. This means we have our critical pair of glasses on, and we’ve been trained to keep these on both at work, home and play. And where does this leave the team? How is this perceived?

If you are not sure, here are some good indicators. Behind the scenes, do team members:

  • Guard their work from others (avoid sharing)
  • “Tear apart” the work of their peers
  • Take longer to deliver
  • Work long hours as a result
  • Expend more energy than required (which often translates into stress)

In this less than perfect work environment, creativity and human flourishing (which fosters creativity) is stifled and individual and team performance suffers. All because of the fear of not meeting the expectations of the “critical eye.”

Strategies for Using Your Positive Pair
Having a second pair is critical! Every member of the team needs to use the right pair in the right situation. They need to learn to put on the pair of glasses that sees and recognizes critical details of effort, hard work, and exceptional performance (which is usually found in the details).

  1. Set clear, attainable and realistic expectations.
  2. Put your positive pair of glasses on.
  3. Train your “positive eye” and share findings!
  4. Communicate the importance of sharing ideas and work in progress without criticism (ideas for improvements are welcome).
  5. Buy a positive set for each person on your team.
  6. Schedule meetings where team members can share their “positive eye” findings.

Tip: At the start, lead the team to only share positive ideas or feedback on their own work in progress and that of their peers. This will help increase the level of trust in the team.

Reminder: The goal is to boost creativity, work performance and passion, and to cultivate collaboration.

Introduce the concept of having two pairs of glasses to your team. Cultivating team collaboration can only be accomplished if we learn to share ideas, respect each other, celebrate the good, and work on improving together. It’s the only way.

How Well Do You Deliver Negative Feedback?
On Dec 7, 12, and 20, join me for chat’n chew conversations to discuss strategies and answer questions on How to Deliver Negative Feedback that Empowers. Register your interest and submit your questions!

About The Author

Articles By sonia-di-maulo
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What People Are Saying

Stephanie Brown  |  01 Dec 2011  |  Reply

I agree that creativity must be present in effective collaboration. The following link is to a video of Andy Murray, Chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi X, sharing insight on the importance of creativity and how to practice it in your organization. http://www.soderquist.org/videos/creativity-look-outside.html.

Sonia Di Maulo  |  03 Dec 2011  |  Reply

Hi Stephanie!

Thanks for sharing that link. The video shows us that to be creative, we need to be innovative and search for ideas outside our comfort zone. This can only happen collaboratively if we trust each other not to shut down our seemingly strange ideas that may lead to innovative solutions. At the first sign of mis-trust, great ideas are stifled.

Having the ability to see the good in all ideas, as stepping stones to THE idea boosts team collaboration.

Thank you for sharing this real example.

Sonia

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