Team Collaboration 101

With 7.7 billion people on the planet, it would be too much to ask that we get along with everybody. Unfortunately, some of those people that we might not like too much, often pop up in the place we spend most of our adult lives: the workplace. Team collaboration is vital in the workplace but it can be difficult to achieve. 

Working effectively with a colleague who antagonises you can be one of the most frustrating obstacles to face in the search for professional fulfilment. It impacts both your happiness and enthusiasm in the office, as well as your motivation and quality of work. While there is always the option of quitting and finding a new job, it would be a shame to throw away everything you’ve built up just because of one person.

We can’t choose our family, and we can’t choose our colleagues either but team collaboration is simply a part of adult life. Rather than run away every time, there are some simple strategies and tips you can implement to make team collaboration easier.

It’s Okay Not To Like Someone

We’re all human here. It’s perfectly natural for you to click with certain people and not others. So be kind and compassionate to yourself: you’re not a bad person for not liking someone. But be kind and compassionate to them as well: they’re not a bad person simply because you don’t like them. Don’t blame the situation on either one of you. Instead, choose to see it as an opportunity to exercise your adaptability, flexibility and empathy.

Use Mindfulness, Neutral Honesty and Your Ears

It’s difficult not to take it personally when your office-enemy does or says something that aggravates you. Your emotions and feelings are perfectly valid and justified. Don’t repress them! But don’t express them in hurtful, unhelpful ways either. Let yourself feel the emotion, then use mindfulness to distance yourself from the situation, understand where your colleague is coming from, and voice your issue in honest, neutral language.

Having had your voice heard, you must, in return, learn to listen to your office-enemy with your heart, not just your ears. Make a genuine effort to understand things from their perspective, and look for common ground.

Killing me Slowly… With Kindness!

While you can’t control your colleague, you can manage your energy and your input. What are you bringing to the situation? Are you aggravating it with negative energy and intentions? ‘Fake it till you make it’ is true of this situation as well. Nothing is stopping you from being polite, if not kind, to your colleague, thus bringing positivity back into the relationship. This can start minimally – a mere ‘Good morning!’ and ‘Good evening!’ delivered with a smile should do it. Next thing you know, you’ll be going to lunch together! (maybe…)


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Other podcasts on Team Collaboration are to be found here  , here  and here!

You may be interested in this blogpost by Kelta Fit about how to unite people