Most people can work well independently, but collaboration can be a challenge for self-starters and independent thinkers. Good communication and knowing how your role fits into the big picture can go a long way. But, it all comes down to how you work and leveraging the right tools: values, responsibilities, procedures and protocol all need to be a part of a teams’ success.


1- Everyone should have the same starting point.

Communicate as often as you can. Be clear and concise in your directives. It’s always good to remember that tone, facial expressions and gestures don’t translate in chats or emails, so you want to be clear in your instructions.

Make sure everyone knows their deliverables and how their job affects the rest of the project and team. It helps hold people accountable and also minimizes potential finger-pointing if someone drops the ball.

Be inclusive, on all things. There is no “I” in team.


2- Qualify the meet.

How many meetings to prepare for other meetings have you had? You’ve probably seen the “This meeting could’ve been an email” meme. So many meetings are unnecessary. Work on qualifying whether it’s truly important to meet. And make the most of them!


3- Be a team player, with rules.

Be flexible and amenable. Where there are people, one can anticipate that there will be some conflict. Change is never easy, and teams always comprise various people with different habits, attitudes, and motivations.


4- Build a team with independence.

  • Trust that the work will get done. Your team got hired because they have the right skillset and competency for the job. Once your team members are all on the same page and know who’s responsible for what, let them do their job.
  • Give support if needed. No man is an island, nothing gets done alone. Even the best self-starters need advice or a sounding board at some point. Be available when required and needed. Allow autonomous workers to focus and be creative and innovative, which leads to better collaboration. Having the freedom to test out new concepts or lead an effort fosters more idea sharing and feedback among the team. Plus, having personally motivated individuals makes for an overall stronger and more productive team.


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