21ST CENTURY SKILLS: COLLABORATION

Man is naturally a social animal, which means that he likes to interact with his fellow man. No man is an Island, hence the need for collaboration. The internet has reduced the World to a phoneglobal village, thus providing a platform for us to interact easily, freely and effectively across countries, continents and cultures. Success in the 21st century would be greater for organisations and individuals who learn this important skill of collaboration.

What Is Collaboration?

Wikipedia defines collaboration as the process of two or more people or organisations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal(that is common to them).

Types Of Collaboration

There are four types of collaboration that are relevant to the 21st century. These are:

  • Team Collaboration: teams are expected to produce results in an organisation, but lack of cooperation can be an impediment to good performance. Cooperative team environment is essential for team’s success. If team success is to be improved, the team must fulfill their independent tasks within the stipulated time frame by: a having a common purpose b.communicate openly and effectively c. clarify goals d. balance team’s focus e. appreciate diversity.
  • Video Collaboration: Participants that are geographically dispersed can connect to a live meeting environment without having to travel all the way to the location of the meeting. This is possible through video conferencing,a two way interactive communication that similar to a phone call, but over video. Video call helps the organisation to save costs. It also accelerates decision making and reduces marketing time significantly by gathering all stakeholders for productive discussions.
  • Network Collaboration: This involves the interaction between organisations and people who are geographically distributed, largely autonomous, and heterogeneous in terms of their operating environment driven by goals, culture, and social capital, but all collaborate effectively to achieve common goals.
  • Network Collaboration is mainly driven by social media, universal internet connectivity, as well as the ability to connect with diverse people across distance and time.
  • Cloud Collaboration: Advancement in technology has made cloud Collaboration a fast growing solution for issues related to data storage and
  • collaboration in organisations.
  • By greatly enhancing data storage and sharing, organisation staff can connect and work collectively as team and in a much more productive manner. Cloud collaboration basically enables two or more members to work on a project at once. The staff uses a cloud based collaboration platform that allows them to share, edit and work together on projects.

Elements Of Successful Collaboration

  • Establish clear definition and agreements on the roles of partners in the collaborative process.
  • Keep communication open within teams, never withholding information necessary to carry out tasks.
  • Reach consensus about goals and methods for completing projects and tasks. Don’t move forward until all members are in agreement.
  • Offer recognition and respect for the contributions of all collaborators. It’s important to give credit where credit is due.
  • Carefully identify obstacles and address problems cooperatively as they occur. Teamwork is essential at all times.
  • Place group goals above personal satisfaction, especially if you are the leader.It’s crucial to put the desired project results at the forefront.
  • Be willing to apologise for missteps and forgive others for mistakes. Holding a grudge or sabotaging the efforts of other team members destroys Collaboration.

Collaboration Skills

A. Communication: Getting your point across is not always easy. Among individuals that do not take the time to understand one another, misunderstanding can become a distraction from project goals. You can’t be afraid to share your perspective, and neither can you impose your viewpoint on everyone else. For you to communicate effectively, you must pay attention to written, verbal and nonverbal communication.

B. Emotional Intelligence:: Emotional Intelligence is fast becoming a sought after skill in the work place. Those are emotionally intelligent are able to understand the hidden needs of themselves and others.

For instance, when a team is moody and snaps at another team member, those with emotional intelligence are able to perceive that the irritability could be an evidence of the moody member’s need for rest or help. Emotional Intelligence requires such interpersonal skills as: resilience, not easily offended, ability to detach from strong emotions, curiosity, empathy and compassion.

C. Respect For Diversity: Economies from multiple continents are beginning to merge. More and more businesses do business with companies overseas.

However,respect for diversity does not mean that people must abandon their religious beliefs or their own convictions. It means everyone respects each other’s perspectives as being equal. All voices matter and each team member is sensitive to behaviors that could be subtle forms of discrimination against a certain group of people.

CONCLUSION

Collaboration multiplies the efforts or resources of organisations or individuals involved in the Collaboration. In this global economy, Collaboration is not only necessary but beneficial in many respects. We do ourselves good, if we learn the skills of collaboration.

NEXT POST ON THE THEME: 1st June,2019.

Lirwanu Sheegay

Born 11th May

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