Sometimes the word “collaboration” brings up negative connotations. Many times the negative connotations come from opposing sides of the perceptions people have of the word itself. Some people will bristle at the word because they think it means to give in or compromise (passivity.) The reverse thinking gives rise to negative connotations when yet others perceive collaboration to mean “aggressively forcing people to agreement” (aggression.)
In actuality, neither perception is correct. True collaboration is neither passive nor aggressive. When done well and for the right reasons, collaboration is a skill necessary for effective communication in all realms, whether in a personal relationship, inside the C-Suite, or in the call center. Collaboration is the perfect balancing tool for effective leadership.
Collaboration is sharing knowledge and building consensus in order to reach a common goal.
- KEY 1: Sharing knowledge.
- KEY 2: Knowledge cannot be shared unless at least one party is listening.
- KEY 3: Listening skills is the KEY COLLABORATIVE SKILL!
Asking good questions is the first step in good listening skills. HUH? Yes, you must first be able to draw information from your coworkers or your employees before you can hear what they say.
Effective leaders are able to inspire others to share what has previously “not been said out loud.” A climate of trust and receptivity has been set. Once this rapport has been established, collaborative approaches can have astonishing impact on your company’s bottom-line results.
Great leaders know that every person adds value. If you ask, listen, and then work together in collaboration, great progress can be made inside departments, teams, and companies.
Exceptional people skills are what set great leaders apart from their counterparts. And great leaders all possess this important piece of emotional intelligence… the ability to draw others in (inspire), the ability to ask the questions, and then to really listen. Once the questions and answers are on the table, then the real consensus and collaboration can take place. What follows consensus and collaboration? Success follows!
Go make someone’s day. Ask them a question that will be of importance to them. Then really, really use your listening skills. Your bottom-line will profit also!