6 Work Tips To Get Yourself Collaborating With Others More

6 Work Tips To Get Yourself Collaborating With Others More - Introvert Whisperer

The dreaded moment has arrived. Nearly all year you’ve kept your head down and avoided cooperation and collaboration. You’ve been able to breeze by on your laurels, which is nice because you’re not at the whim of anyone else. You can do your own thing and work at your own pace.

 

All that is shattered as you’re handed your new project that requires — gasp — collaboration with your co-workers. You’re going to have to talk to them, spend time with them, work alongside them?

 

Okay, maybe that entire scenario is just a tad dramatic. But everyone knows that feeling where you’re finally forced out of your comfort bubble and you have to work alongside a group of folks, people you may have seen every day but know little about.

 

It’s not easy breaking that barrier. What do you say? How do you share and collaborate? What should you keep to yourself?

 

Sadly, you’ll have to find the answer to a lot of the questions you have floating around inside your head on your own. That’s the nature of being collaborative: You need to learn to adapt. We can, however, help a little by sharing a few ways to improve your cooperativeness.

 

Let’s dive in.

 

1. Speak Up
Shy or not, if you’re not used to being social, there’s going to be a point where you censor yourself. You will hold back what you want to say or keep an idea — good or not — to yourself.

 

Yes, there’s the possibility that you’re wrong and speaking up won’t bring anything to pass. What about the opposite, however? What if your idea is more streamlined and helps you get the work done faster or better? What if you have the right answer and your colleagues are wrong? What if you can pose the solution to a problem you’ve all been trying to figure out for hours, days or even weeks?

 

Start every collaborative project by expressing yourself in full and continue to do it throughout the scope of your work. Don’t hold back.

 

Before you know it, you’ll be a pro, and you’ll be able to share, explain or collaborate on nearly anything.

 

2. Find Better Tools 
You’ll undoubtedly be using a variety of tools, software, and apps to get your work done and collaborate with the rest of your team.

 

Make sure before you start doing the heavy work that you’ve chosen the right tools for you and everyone else. If necessary, download a new app or browser extension to help you all communicate and get more done.

 

Some companies do have policies against the kinds of third-party apps they’ll allow employees to use, but there should still be some options available for you to choose from.

 

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions 
Look, we’ve all heard that saying, “No question is a dumb question,” and every single one of us knows it’s not true. There are many, many dumb questions. That creates blinding fear that you’re going to be the one, the dumb person to ask the silliest question ever.

 

Don’t be afraid. Who cares if the question you have to ask is stupid or not? If you have a question, then get clarification from someone, anyone. It’s important, and chances are someone else had the exact same question you did — they were just too scared to ask.

 

Collaboration requires communication, and one of the best ways to communicate is to ask a question and pose a discussion, so don’t be afraid to do so.

 

4. Force Yourself to Stand Out 
As an introvert, there’s no way around it: You are going to have to come out of your safety bubble. Don’t waste time trying to figure out when and where is the best time to do it. Just jump. Force yourself to stand out by any means necessary.

 

If this means being the one to speak up first, then do it. If it means being the first one to ask questions or make suggestions, do it. Don’t be content sitting on the sidelines, because this is a collaborative effort, and every bit of participation helps. Participate! Get out there and make yourself be a part of the team, whether you enjoy it or not.

 

5. Don’t Underestimate Your Mad Skills 
You are at your job for a reason. Either you’re awesome at what you do, you have a long list of experience and knowledge or you’re just plain cool in general. Whatever the case, you have plenty to offer, so don’t forget that.

 

Your ideas have weight and most likely will help your team. Your opinions matter and may save you a lot of hassle. Your presence matters, and your team would be worse off without you there.

 

You already know you have a lot to contribute, and that means there’s a ton you can do to support your team, so do it!

 

6. Disagreements Are Going to Happen 
No one ever sees eye to eye, and when a team of professionals works together, there’s always going to be someone that disagrees. So long as the “conflict” is not negative in nature and no one is attacking the others, disagreements will help you and your team perform better. It pushes you and the others to think outside the box and find solutions to problems instead of just settling on a particular decision or action.

 

Don’t be afraid of disagreements or conflict. Don’t feed it by making things worse and being mean to the others in your group, but recognize the importance of such an event during a group project.

 

If you go into your project with all these things in mind, you’ll do just fine. You never know — you may even come out of the whole ordeal a more open, collaborative person.

 

Author:
Kayla Matthews is a self-improvement writer contributing to publications like The Daily Muse, MakeUseOf, Lifehack and The Huffington Post. To read more professional development posts from Kayla, check out her blog, Productivity Theory.

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