The 8 Most Important Collaboration Skills For Your Team

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Sara London for Hive
Sara London for Hive
Collaboration skills are critical when working remotely, as sometimes it can feel like information gets lost in the shuffle of technology. Luckily, with the help of remote work tools, you can build take your collaboration capabilities from ordinary to extraordinary – all while you build skills that can benefit you on and offline.
Here are eight of the most important collaboration skills that will help your team thrive in today’s workplace.

1. Avoiding blame.

One of the most essential collaboration skills for your team involves staying away from the blame game. It can be easy to see when a teammate drops the ball on a deadline or project, and sometimes, those miscommunications can make you feel frustrated, angry, or exasperated. But stay away from blame, as it will make collaborating harder in the future.
Being clear about who’s taking on what tasks can help eliminate any uncertainty about due dates, obligations, or blame. Hive’s task prioritization tool is handy in preventing negativity from bouncing between teammates, as you have an easy way to see which important tasks have to be done quickly.

2. Self-analysis.

Next, take your team collaboration to the next level by taking a long look at yourself. This will result in further insight into personal collaboration skills for your team. The better you know yourself, the better you’ll be able to understand what makes you tick, how you communicate, and how to best work with others.
To keep all your ducks in a row, you can use Hive to construct your own personal to-do list. With this, you can keep track of what items you value and which you feel can fall by the wayside. In doing that, you’ll be able to better understand your individualized issues and successes with collaboration.

3. Taking responsibility.

Next, it’s important to take responsibility if you want to collaborate fluidly. Taking responsibility is different than avoiding blame because even if you don’t point your finger at someone else, you could still be pointing that finger away from yourself. When you hold yourself accountable for mistakes and shortcomings, it subliminally informs your team that you’re a reliable partner.
With Hive, you can monitor your workflow so you can consistently feel like you’re in control of your responsibilities. By seeing the time spent on each action with the time tracker, you can sit down and visualize what you may have spent too much time on, what you could have done differently, and how you can change for the better to help your teammates pick up the slack.

4. Active listening.

Though you may already be a good listener, remember that active listening kicks collaboration skills for your team up a notch. The more you listen intently, the better you’ll be at knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your coworkers. Studies show that both active listening and self-awareness are significantly associated with empathy, which humanizes personalized collaboration efforts.
There’s no better way to listen actively than to take notes as your teammate talks, and keying in on great ideas is easier than ever with Hive’s Zoom Notes. With Hive Notes, in particular, more than one teammate can make notes simultaneously, making your coworkers feel like they’re really being heard.

5. Psychological safety.

Good collaboration requires a solid place to exchange ideas that could be seen as edgy. That’s why psychological safety in the workplace is so important. Coined by Harvard Business School professor Dr. Amy Edmondson, psychological safety means that a team fosters the individual’s ability to engage in “interpersonal risk-taking,” like admitting to burnout without fear of repercussions or saying an unpopular idea in a meeting.
Collaboration works best when you’re honest and transparent, and you know that your coworkers feel the same way. Hive can help you see the workload of your coworkers so that you can begin to see when they’re overloaded without having awkward conversations. Then, you can offer aid to your team when they need it, creating an environment where they feel heard and seen.

6. Communicate expectations.

The digital age has set a bit of an expectation for immediate responses, and working from home may have worsened that need for instant gratification. That’s why a team’s collaboration depends on communicating expectations about when and how you respond to your teammates.
You can set your status to let everyone in your workspace know where you are and what you’re doing. Even if you’re just dodging up to get a cup of coffee, in a meeting, or going on a quick Peloton ride, you can let your coworkers know that you’re not ignoring them, you’re just taking a short break – as you’re entitled to do (within reason, of course).

7. Compromise.

One of the most vital collaboration skills for your team includes learning to compromise. It’s important to know what hills you want to die on and which you’d rather leave in the rearview mirror, and being flexible is of the utmost importance when you’re working with a team. That way, your products can be a reflection of each and every coworker on the project rather than just a reflection of yourself.
It’s not difficult to get clear and concise input from teammates using tools like proofing and approvals. That way, you can sign off on changes quickly and give your coworker the chance to chime in without spending time bickering over minutiae.

8. Celebrate successes.

Lastly, it’s necessary to praise your teammates and commend them on a job well done. According to a Gallup poll, just one-third of workers say that they’ve received recognition for their efforts in the past week. Those who don’t feel like they’re appreciated are twice as likely to want to quit. By celebrating successes, you can create an environment that promotes positivity and creates a cycle of reinforcement around healthy collaboration.
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This article originally appeared in Hive — the world's first democratically built productivity platform. Learn more at Hive.com.

What’s your no. 1 piece of team collaboration advice? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!