Often times, the challenges we face in delivering a large project lies not in the planning or execution of tasks – rather, it’s the managing of the multiplicity of professional expectations and personal drivers among teammates which creates tension and potentially, delay.
Everyone understands that a happy team is proven to be more productive. No doubt, your HR person is super enthusiastic with sharing a plethora of personality profiling to help build team cohesion, and bags of cash is often thrown at team build day events – and a belly full of free grub and booze makes the most contentious, amenable – for the day that is.
It’s hard to be personal in a professional environment, and it seems to me, that these kind of exercises, tend to deal with colleagues in a generic, categorical way – which clearly, is non-threatening – but arguably, as potent as tepid tea.
Here’s a collaboration exercise which I have found to be really effective!
Before your project starts, why not get your new team members in a room, give them the following list of drivers, and ask them to respond as honestly as they can. Collate, publish and distribute everyone’s response together on one page.
- What’s your personal circumstances?
- What’s your personal morality or code of ethics/philosophy that you subscribe to?
- What are your ambitions?
- What do you personally want to achieve with this project?
- What are your skills / knowledge / experience that are valuable for this project?
- What is your desired outcome for the project as a whole?
- How do you prefer people to communicate with you?
- What’s your communication style?
- How do you react when your stressed or uncomfortable and what can we do to ease the pressure?
- When is the best time to chat for meaningful conversation?
Good collaboration is centred on trust. The quickest path to trust is to share yourself in a real way – being prepared to be vulnerable, is usually appreciated, and our cultural convention leads us to reciprocate quickly – as a way of demonstrating that appreciation.
Doing this exercise before you start your project, will give everyone a chance to know how to get the best out of each other, to produce the best outcome – which is a true collaboration!
Till next time, crack a queer whid!