6 Ways to Increase Collaboration on Project Teams

If you are someone who is running some projects this year, you might be tearing your hair out when you are thinking about how you can make people cooperate. Cooperation and collaboration are both key when it comes to making a project a real success, and you need to make sure that you are getting people excited about doing so. When so much of work in competitive, think about what you can do to make sure that your project teams get along instead!

1. Skip Meetings That Are Longer Than 1 Hour

If you have broken everyone in to project teams, you are busy. Nothing makes people more frazzled and less likely to cooperate with one another than feeling like they are on a crunch. Keep your meetings short and sweet, and make sure that everyone who shows up needs to hear what is being said. Ideally, a good meeting only takes about 20 minutes, because that’s about when attention spans start to wander. Staying in constant movement rather than stagnating over a meeting is an important part of moving forward with your project.

2. Promote Accountability

One thing that prevents people from collaborating is fear. They are afraid that if they go along with something, they will be at risk. Thus, it is always in your best interest to promote a policy of accountability. Let everyone know that they should let you know as soon as a mistake or error has been made. Remember that people are more inclined to be accountable if they feel safe. Remind them that mistakes happen, and that the most important thing is going to fixing the issue, not punishing the person who reports it.

3. Mediate Conflicts

If you are someone who is invested in making sure that a project goes smoothly, you need to think about conflicts. No matter how much people want the same thing, there will be many different ways of getting there. Maintain an open door policy when it comes to handling conflicts and make sure that a solution has been reached before the two conflicting parties leave. In some cases, having the matter brought to your attention is enough; simply let the feuding parties know that they need to respect each other and work it out. If they cannot, they need to trust you to come to a resolution for them. Handling a conflict before it blows up can make a huge difference to how well your projects move forward.

4. Be Honest and Promote Honesty

When you want to make a project work, you are not going anywhere without being honest. People work best when they have all the information. You may want to restrict information because you feel it is unnecessary, or you may hold it back because you worry it will reflect poorly on the company, but the truth of the matter is that this is something that you should avoid at all costs. Being honest with your employees means that they will be honest with you. Be blunt if mistakes were made, talk to your employees about how it is going to affect them and remember that you would want to be treated in the same way. More honesty in the workplace leads to projects that can be finished with significantly more ease.

5. Skip the Team Building Exercises

Remember that time is money, but more than that, time is something that your employees need. There are too many offices out there who waste their time on team building exercises that simply leave people feeling irritable and embarrassed. If you want to run a team building exercise, schedule it for non-working hours and make sure that people get paid. This is far better than cutting into their productivity. Basically, if you really feel that a team exercise is worth it, you’ll be willing to pay for it.

6. Encourage People to Work Independently

One of the worst things that a project can suffer from is micromanagers. The people who are on your team are on it for a reason, and that means that you should consider them competent in their own right. Let them handle their own issues, even as you let them know that you will be there to back them up. You cannot go into a team project believing that your team is incompetent. Let them solve their own problems, though remind them that they might be called to justify what they did later on. Remember that at the end of the day, simply being reasonable can help you move your project towards its conclusion much more effectively.

If you are ready to undertake some team projects, don’t let be left behind when crunch time comes. A team project can be a real beast to get underway, so be ready for all problems and trust your team!

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