Four Elements of Collaboration

October 25, 2017

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I'm Deb- CEO, worldwide executive coach, mentor, consultant and speaker. I'm here to help you take your leadership and impact to the next level!

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Four Elements of Collaboration

Collaboration is a corporate buzzword these days, and for good reason. At the root, it means “co-laboring” or “working together.” This is the essence of teamwork – it is a point to which individuals come together to work as one team.

This requires the following elements:

1. Individuals

Let’s use the analogy of space, for example. What we call “space” is actually a universe made of countless individual pieces, each unique in its own way. And yet, together, these pieces comprise the singular canvas we call “space.”

As a leader, you have individuals on your team. Each person is uniquely gifted with strengths, skills, experience, and methodologies. Together they create a team.

Now to the compelling point…do you see a “team” or do you value each individual for who they are as a member of the team? Do you allow each individual to shine and function in their own unique way? The best leaders are those who see the individuals on their team and value each one for their unique set of strengths, skills, experience, and methodologies.

2. Movement

On this spatial canvas, though it appears to be still, there is constant motion. Take Earth, for instance. Here we are on a big ball of elements, tilted, and rotating all day every day at approximately 1000 mph.  At the same time, we are circling the sun in orbit at about 67,000 mph. And yet, the irony is, if you are sitting at your desk, it feels as though you are sitting still.

Movement is a relative thing. If you stand up and walk about, then you sense movement. And yet you cannot sense the movement that is constantly supporting you every day, all day long.

Apply this idea to your team. We leaders can be guilty of assuming that if we don’t see movement, none exists. And so we may inadvertently pressure employees to show activity. After all, we move swiftly, we reason, “Why don’t they?”

Maybe you’ve even thought, “They don’t look busy enough. They must need more work to do.”

The fact is, movement comes from perspective. Some of the most influential innovators of our time have been those who exhibited less initial outward movement, but generated a great deal of thought and planning before they took action. And when they did take action, it was massive.

Are you as a leader giving your team the time they need for inward thought and planning before requiring outward action?

3. Gravity

Do you ever think about gravity? Chances are, if you do, it’s not very often. Yet, it is part of our lives every single day. It is the one thing that grounds us to this spinning, rotating ball we call Earth.

In business, leadership is gravity. It is the core that holds the team together as all the movement takes place. You have likely heard the term, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” That’s gravity.

As a leader, are you a constant, steadying force for your team? Can they count on you for support and grounding? Think about your turnover rate. Is it high? Are you losing team members? If so, consider the level of leadership gravity. Is it strong enough to hold the team in place without crushing individuals, or is it lax to a point where employees fall away in frustration for lack of leadership?

4. Design

There is design and rhythm in the universe. We base our hours, days, and calendars on this design. Without this precision, there would be chaos. All those moving pieces work together as one, with impeccable timing. A well-designed team will work together as one and with impeccable timing.

If this isn’t happening with your team, it is likely a matter of clarity, which is the root of design. Ask yourself if there is clarity in each of these areas.

  1. Vision
  2. Expectations
  3. Roles
  4. Responsibilities

If you have a team where each individual is clear on the vision, their roles and responsibilities, and your expectations, you have a team that is well-designed. From the vantage point of clarity on these fronts, execution can happen quickly and efficiently.

How are the elements of collaboration for your team? Do you have grounded individuals working as one team and accomplishing massive results?

As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.

Developing a team of leaders instead of followers is the fastest path to growth and profitability.

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