Here are some how to’s and ideas we have about effective collaboration and facilitation:
- Develop a close relationship with each person on the project team, get to know them.
- Lead with humility. Leave other people better for having been in your company.
- Always allow the other person to save face. Be empathetic and curious, be grateful and kind in your communications.
- Expect great meetings that are to the point and where people have fun and leave energized. Have a mind set that collaboration is non-negotiable. Ask who is facilitating the meeting, why the meeting is occurring, and understand your role in the meeting. Don’t be a passive observer, at least bring positive supportive energy to the room.
- Think before speaking – (W.A. I. T) Why am I talking ? Ask yourself, how am I adding value to the discussion?
- Make it about asking the right questions instead of having the right answer. When asking questions be inquisitive, not interrogative.
- Feel free to slow things down.
- It is ok to call attention to the group if you believe the meeting is “going off the rails” – this will require the team be formed and relationships secured prior.
The March edition of High Profile magazine featured an article about collaboration. It appears well known that finger pointing, delays and problems, particularly in complex commercial projects are too familiar a story, and it’s nice to see that people in general are focusing on more effective communication. Given all the complexities of placing people in newly built buildings, and the challenges associated with having buildings be healthy and efficient places to learn and work for the long haul, it is a great thing that people are concentrating more on their company’s ability to collaborate with other firms.
At Triumph, we believe that effective communication and collaboration among all participants to any size construction project, is the essential ingredient for success. Having fun is a part of that success. Collaboration is a mind-set and should be non negotiable. Individual participants to any meeting or call need to be mindful of how collaboration works. Often people do not show up with intentional energetic presence. People have a tendency to be passive particularly when just getting to know new people and that is very normal, to sit back and not say too much in the early goings. Some of this is good, it shows humility, however the folks to any team (any call or meeting) should remember their obligation to the Owner to add value to each encounter. It often takes some courage as well. Effective teamwork boils down to some rather “touchy – feely” ideas. In any industry dominated by macho-ism, like construction, collaboration can be harder to achieve.
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