All workplaces are a social construct… that is, we understand as a species that when we can create shared focus from others, we can accomplish amazing things that are not possible with solitary effort. Look around you, at your School or hospital here at USC… could you provide world-class instruction and highly ranked healthcare in your garage at home?
So, if workplaces are a social construct (relying on people), then our best work is done through our relationships. Creating that focus or alignment with extraordinary effort from a multidisciplinary team requires cooperation and collaboration.
Do you feel that the people around you at work are holding you back? Would you like to accomplish more, but realize that you can’t do it alone?
Our suggestion? Focus upon the following essential relationship-building skills, and harness the power of collaboration for greater success.
So, what are the helpful and necessary interpersonal skills to create a collaborative effort on your team or in your department?
- Practicing inclusion. Collaboration is enhanced when all team members feel that their input and opinions matter. Making others feel welcomed and acknowledged is a great skill for garnering cooperation. Embracing diversity of thought and diversity of culture on your team helps with creative solutions and identifying crippling blind spots.
- Being non-judgmental. Practicing openness to ideas and suspending judgment of others will define you as an approachable and inviting teammate. This can be especially useful when you rely on others to help you with your own job success.
- Contributing to conflict resolution. Bringing together any group of individuals inherently introduces competing needs and diversity of problem solving. When you can be viewed as a facilitator of resolving conflict, you will be sought out as a helpful and necessary contributor to projects and team efforts. Conflict resolution includes skills such as finding workable compromises, persistence towards finding a solution, and being a calming yet assertive presence in the problem-solving conversations.