Collaboration in a Team: The Importance to Compromise
So, there are different types of collaboration for example, there is the person who comes up with all the ideas, the idea-getter who is the person who elaborates on those ideas and adds to them, the person who keeps everybody together and doesn’t let anyone not contribute, like glue, and the person who perfects the ideas, sort of like the double-checker. Of course, there are likely more types, and you might not have a type. Nothing wrong with that. Alternatively, you might be all or multiple of these types. Nothing wrong with that either, everyone is different. However, if someone does not seem to be helping, be patient. Maybe speed them along a little, but whatever you do, do not get frustrated. The most opportune time for frustration to slip into a group is when the project or goal or whatever you are doing is almost due. This is because some people are stressed, on edge, doing last-minute checks to make sure nothing is incorrect, and then you realize that someone didn’t do what they were supposed to and you go over to criticize them and get into this humongous argument about nothing, things just fall apart, and you get a terrible mark. So try to keep calm towards the end of the project.
Now, we know you are probably wondering; how do I know when I’m in an extraordinary group? It’s simple, here are our experiences with extra+ordinary (extraordinary) groups: A group is a collection of individuals who come together around a certain purpose. Extraordinary groups achieve outstanding results, and membersーindividually or collectivelyーexperience a shift in how they see their world; they become transformed.
Transformation is a shift in individual perceptions that accelerate behaviour change and personal vitality. When there is a shift in approach, things are not exactly the same again. For some, the transformative shift has to do with seeing themselves as capable of making a difference in the world. However grand, visible or intangible, such transformative shifts happen because the group experience satisfies core needs that members intuitively to any group they join.
The space created by compelling purpose, just enough structure, and shared leadership pulls members to “full ON” mode, which means to listen to one another. When fully “ON,” members fully contribute their skills, knowledge, and talents; they do not wait to be asked to participate. In a group like this, rather than keeping back, members may have some trouble having airtimeㅡwaiting for others to breathe so they can enter. Depending on what is being discussed, the intensity and excitement of engagement can be more apparent than order. “Ideas flow, tumbling over one another like a river just forming and seeking its course.” as Allen Ginsberg once said. People pitch in, inform, adapt, exclaim, and resolve issues together. Engagement does not end when a meeting is over. People do what they say they will do. When a member commits to taking action, others can count on that member to follow through. People work hard and intensely, often for hours, days at a time. They do this because they are committed to their unifying purpose and don’t want to let each other down.
Groups blossom because members are enthusiastic and are willing to speak passionately about important things. Sometimes group dynamics get complicated and messyㅡbut that’s OK. Disagreement is not uncommon and is not avoided. Members will give each other the benefit of the doubt and do not expect each other to be perfect at communicating. Remember, you cannot learn your ideas; they are implanted in you since they are your thoughts. As for other ideas that are different to you, accept them because that is how you learn. Humor can show upㅡand can be present even in the face of dire circumstances or tense moments.
If there is one thing most people despise about collaboration, it would be letting go of ego. Letting go of ego requires trust, and trust requires patience, but with collaboration, you have to forget about trust with patience. You have to accept the trust required for collaboration and get ego out of the image in your head.
Have you ever been asked to give the sweat and tears in your work and hand it to someone in your community? This person has zero experience with your style of work, all that they have is their knowledge. This person has to edit and criticize your work. You are required to “let your words fall to the ground,” in the words of Dr. Shelle VanEtten de Sánchez. When the fellow criticizes your work, your ego falls apart, remember don’t let your ego get the better of you.
You get your work back, you don’t know what to expect, and then you get a paper diminished by corrections and judgments. You are confused for a few seconds, and then you see into the corrections eyes, you think to yourself, “how did I forget to do this, how did I miss this?” You make your polished copy of your sweat and tears, and you write your name on the paper, but you remember that a good Samaritan helped you. Their name should be beside yours, yet you don’t put it, but on the inside, deep down the Samaritan’s name is written. Now, the polished work belongs to the two of you.
It is the Superbowl on TV, and you are watching it. You notice that there are 11 players per team that are on the field. One team is offense and the other, defense. The offensive team has a quarterback, running back, center, and receivers. All the positions are different, yet they are required to fulfill a win. All the athletes that are in their positions are human yet; their positions are different. The positions are a comparison to how, when you are collaborating with others, you will end up with people who are diverse in ideas, and experiences. In groups, people are intrigued by the diversity of information, perspectives, backgrounds, and cultures within the group. They respect each other based on how they are as human beings as well as for the skills, knowledge, talents they apply to the group’s purpose. Members know that creative solutions require a deep spectrum of viewpoints and the ability to switch positions―even antithetical ones. With this frame, they experience unique ideas being respected, listened to, and talked about in service to group purpose. This way there is a real team, no “I am doing this my way” and now there is a consensus approach for the more significant issues. The team now wants to move forward with a plan that has everyone fully committed.
As a child, you learned your ABC’s, but were you taught how to learn? Of course, people in groups are expected to learn, but people in collaborative groups were characterized by learning that went way beyond their expectations. You can hear learning taking place in a true and collaborative group. Learning is essential to these groups being transformed to be better. A phrase that seems to capture the vibe of this learning is “Ready…Set…Stretch!” The stretch extends beyond growth; it is an intentional reach to become more together. It is one thing for a member to be uniquely challenged by the task; it is quite another when the group as a whole takes up the challenge together. Eager by the task before them, members are linked in learning together and supporting each other. Often what they learn together has greater application than this project with this team; it applies in their future.
As a pattern, members of collaborative groups give more than they originally signed up for: more hours, more energy, more persistence, more sweat, more affinity, more study, and more liability. In their stretch, members grow in skills, knowledge, and mental frameworks, awareness of self, and self-potential. Members enlarge their beliefs of what a group can accomplish together―with profound implications for future groups they will join.
Relationships between members of groups take place in two fundamental ways. Some groups form around established friendship; members enjoy being together that they search for purpose and activity that allow them to spend time together. Enduring, expanding, and strengthening what they already have in their relationship is a high priority. Other groups draw together around group purpose. As members join, they encounter new people, but they are initially captivated more to the purpose than to each other. New relationships grow from working together and sometimes result in lasting friendships. This is not surprising, given the condition and energy of the interactions that characterize such groups.
When group behaviour causes individuals to feel respected, enlarged relationships are natural. Groups that help members discover common values or interest feed friendship. When the norm is to rely on one another, to commit, and to follow-through, what else would we expect? Remember, do not let the friendship go over your collaborative group.
Cooperation and Competitiveness
It is pretty clear that humans are the most intelligent species, but it is not because of our speed, strength nor’ our fierceness. We are dominant for one reason; we got smart, but we also needed to be fast and the easiest way to triple up in speed is to add people together. Humans ability to cooperate and communicate properly is agriculture, countries, etc. Humans are both cooperative and competitive. Both of these are critical to our success and throughout our lives in all sorts of ways. The civic life is full of collaborative work such as family, etc., but the problem is that we don’t know how to collaborate. Firstly, you need to utilise your strengths, secondly, you need to be able to communicate tactfully, and lastly, you need to be able to reach compromise and consensus.
The key to making a team is:
- Value everybody for what they can bring to the table.
- Put the needs of your group before your needs.
There will be many problems in your group, but you still have to make it work. The success of your group depends on you to lead it. You are probably wondering, “Well, how do I become a great leader?” It’s simple.
- Know what each team member’s strengths are.
- Know how to divide up a great job to smaller jobs.
A group doesn’t work for the leader, in fact, the leader works for the group, but what if the group is all over the place? First of all, you should give jobs or roles to the people in your group. Everyone is intelligent in one or more ways, but if you have four different people who have different kinds of intelligence, you have something called group intelligence meaning you have all of their intelligence in one brain. Even though, it will be hard to work together, it’s worth it because now you have completely filled out the gaps in their individual intelligence.
Remind Me to Remind You
When you are in a group that needs reminders, you can create a system. A system where you have your team members’ contact info so you can contact them anytime. The system also includes the person’s job so that they don’t forget their job and have the deadlines of their job which should be about two days before the due date. Make sure everyone has knowledge about this system. What if you are in a disagreement with your group? Communicate. You don’t want to be too aggressive nor’ do you want to be passive while communicating. How do you get to a place in between aggressive and passive? It’s called tact. Tact is the ability to be straightforward, but not be so straightforward. It is the ability to handle delicate situations with a bit of sensitivity, a little consideration about other people. People who are tact, say what they need to say without being offensive. Tact requires a certain attitude, care about the outcome of the group, respect for the people involved, but also a commitment to getting the work done. Let’s say, someone wants to do a project, but present it as a video, while the other wants to do a project, but have it be about Canadian history and they don’t care about the format. What should they do? They should communicate with each other openly and make a decision about the project and have a win-win scenario. Therefore, the project could be a video about Canadian history. What it really comes down to is good communication and willingness to compromise for the good of the team. In any of these situations you need to remember that you are dealing with human beings and all you need to do is to have an effective conversation with your team members.
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