Practice makes perfect. Source: Unsplash

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From the experts: Why collaboration and teamwork isn’t a natural process

SmartCompany Plus
8 minute Read

Collaboration with colleagues and employees is at the heart of a functional and successful organisation — but good intentions and warm feelings aren’t enough. These nine experts say there are techniques and styles to make it work.

“If you are leading a team … think about what message your choices send,” says Charles Duhigg in Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive.

“Are you encouraging equality in speaking, or rewarding the loudest people? Are you modeling listening? Are you demonstrating a sensitivity to what people think and feel, or are you letting decisive leadership be an excuse for not paying as close attention as you should? There are always good reasons for choosing behaviors that undermine psychological safety. It is often more efficient to cut off debate, to make a quick decision, to listen to whoever knows the most and ask others to hold their tongues.

“But a team will become an amplification of its internal culture, for better or worse. Study after study shows that while psychological safety might be less efficient in the short run, it’s more productive over time. If motivation comes from giving individuals a greater sense of control, then psychological safety is the caveat we must remember when individuals come together in a group. Establishing control requires more than just seizing self-determination. Being a subversive works, unless you’re leading a team.”

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