Why these collaboration tips?
Whether you have to collaborate with your colleagues, external parties or internationally, all would benefit by a successful collaboration. I have written down some basic tips which could help to improve you cooperation with others.
Where does the collaboration go wrong?
You cannot take if for granted that each collaboration between different persons, parties, cultures or countries is always successful. Different perceptions of time, agreement, associations, standards and values could be the source of a difficult collaboration. How can you overcome these?
5 tips for a successful collaboration
- Show respect for the other persons
This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with the other, but when you show respect, you don’t use harsh words. Realize that not everyone thinks the same. What is common for you, doesn’t have to be for the other party. When all parties show respect and try to empathize with each other, you all have taken a big step!
- Agree on the word agreement
An agreement has not for everyone the same definition. Describe and discuss how everyone interprets the word agreement. For example: Is this when you agree upon something verbally? Or only when it’s on paper and signed?
- Agree upon the time factor
Time is something which something which is handled in different ways in each culture. How to handle the perception of time in each different culture? The best way is to discuss this and to agree upon how you cope with time in this collaboration. What do you mean with starting a meeting a 10 o’clock? Is this between 9.30 and 10.30 hrs., is this exactly at 10.00? The same counts for deadlines. What do you mean with a deadline of two weeks? Do you mean exactly two weeks, or is there a margin of one of more days?
- Agree on what to do when an agreement is violated.
A collaboration can only last if all parties are faithful. It is wise to discuss what to do when one of the parties violates the agreement. Don’t wait till it’s too late.
- Stick to what you have agreed upon an stay honest
My last tip is to stick to what you have agreed upon in the first four tips. And if it is not possible to meet a deadline, handle pro-actively and tell the others what your problem is. Never lie, but always be honest; this is a basic element for a successful collaboration.
Now you have read my 5 tips for a successful collaboration. Whatever culture or country you are from, I believe that an open an honest communication as well as good agreements upon time and the way of collaborating will bring you a happy time together with successful results!