Working Relationships: Principles of Collaboration

Principles of Collaboration_edited-1When you begin a relationship with a supplier, some of the most common problems arise because of issues with collaboration. Even within an individual team, when certain principles of collaboration are not adhered to, problems can quickly arise. Collaboration means different things to different people, but no matter the relationship, firmly embracing common principles is the most effective way to ensure success.

Common principles of collaboration can be hard to nail down – but the concept is so important to grasp when in a partnership both within your own team and with another company. Here is our list of the top principles of collaboration, and how taking these seriously can result in an effective and fruitful relationship.

  1. Communication – arguably the most important aspect of collaboration. If the lines of communication are closed, problems are inevitable. Listening and offering opinions is critical to teamwork that yields results.
  2. Participation – in order for any relationship to work, there needs to be participation from both sides. And make sure to promote it – after all, two heads are better than one. Encouraging participation helps to broaden perspectives and will result in more free-flowing ideas.
  3. Trust –trust is another essential element of collaboration. Being transparent with information is crucial if that is to be achieved. Make sure that all debates are had in the open and that the entire group has access to the latest information.
  4. Respect – for both team members within a company, and for companies working collaboratively, respect is key. Each person within this partnership has something of value to offer, and this needs to be recognized and appreciated.
  5. Feedback – communication isn’t just about hearing others’ views/ideas/opinions; it is also about taking those ideas and opinions and making changes. Feedback, no matter the relationship, is crucial. If there are perceived problems, the only way to make improvements is to learn why these issues exist.
  6. Independence – learn when to step out of the way and let someone run with an idea. Micro-managing or trying to have a hand in everything won’t prove beneficial. Understand that collaboration doesn’t just mean listening and working together – it also means knowing when someone needs some freedom to move.
  7. Persistence – finally, you have to be persistent. A consistent application of these core principles shows that you are concerned about results, and reassures teammates of their importance.

Collaboration can be tough, but when approached the right way, can yield huge results. When it comes to a working relationship with another company, remember to communicate, respect, and trust the expertise of those you’ve chosen to work with.

PTI understands how important collaboration is. To get a relationship started, contact us today by calling 1-800-303-5883.

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