As an expert in conflict resolution business to business, business to government and within businesses, the flip side to the perspective of negative conflict is the positive perspective of collaboration. We are all oriented to either minimizing pain or maximizing reward. This is what plays out related to conflict resolution versus collaboration. This article addresses the benefits of collaboration in the workplace and how you can create a more collaborative environment. Pioneering companies get it.
When collaboration takes place what are the rewards?
- Increased productivity
- Better communication
- Open innovation
- Responding more rapidly to market opportunities
- Increased efficiency
- Enhanced employee satisfaction
- Improved retention
- Quicker closure
- Shared ideas
- Develop employees quicker
Why is this important?
When we pool ideas and skill sets we provide better outcomes for customers, employees feel valued, and this enhances growth. It also improves the bottom line. Often in business the focus by management is on the bottom line. However, studies demonstrate that by focusing on collaboration, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement improves the bottom line.
Why do we focus so much on the bottom line rather than collaboration? That is what our schools have been asking too, and their bottom line is that today the best schools focus on collaboration as students learn new skill sets. Can we learn from educators too? Millennials expect collaboration and want collaboration in the workplace. An entity that focuses on working alone without timely quality feedback may very well find that the best employees leave and those that remain may not be fully engaged. This can have a direct impact on the bottom line, potentially generate more conflict, have a negative impact on relationships, and reduce revenue.
Research shows that 60-80% of all difficulties in organizations stem from strained relationships between employees, not from deficits in individual employee’s skill or motivation.
Negotiation and Collaboration
As a negotiator you can be the hero when you facilitate collaboration. Not all negotiations are successful, but when they are and everything comes together, this can be very rewarding. When a negotiation is successful this can significantly enhance your reputation. This should be one of the motivators to help you help your team to want to collaborate with the other party.
With artificial intelligence what skills do I need to enhance?
With the advent of artificial intelligence, it is clear that being creative, flexible and social are key human skills for the future. Communication and collaboration are needed now and even more so in the future? What can you do to enhance your skills now? As an executive I used to ask my employees what skills do you think you will need for your next position. What do you need to do to enhance your skills now for your next position? Think of this for five years from now. It is likely the position does not even exist today?
What do you need to do to enhance your skills now for your next position? Think of this for five years from now. It is likely the position does not even exist today?
That makes one think. Today I would argue that soft skills on such topics as leadership, understanding yourself and others, communicating effectively, enhancing effectiveness, managing diversity, managing your time and your life and building engaged workgroups are more important than ever. I suggest you look at your current skill set and ask yourself what you need to do to enhance your skills for your next position. As stated earlier keep in mind it probably does not even exist today.
Soft skills on such topics as leadership, understanding yourself and others, communicating effectively, enhancing effectiveness, managing diversity, managing your time and your life and building engaged workgroups are more important than ever.