Happiness is Collaboration

happinessThe best part of my day is when I collaborate with my colleagues. No matter what else is going on, after I spend an hour or so working work with a User Experience Designer to review prototypes, a fellow Information Developer (ID) to create the best embedded help possible, or an engineer to understand application details to ensure labels and messages are accurate, my outlook improves.

Collaboration pushes us all to be our best. I always learn something, and hopefully, I teach something as well. And, during the process, we come up with ideas that none of us would have come up with alone.

Below are five tips that help us succeed in our collaboration.

1. Respect

Be professional. If you disagree, explain why calmly and without judgment.

2. Listen

Listen without interrupting. Let your colleagues know that you heard their ideas.

3. Compromise

Be willing to try another approach.

4. Respect expertise

Respect others’ expertise and role on the project. When working on a project, if I have an idea and present it to the User Experience Designer, but it is rejected, I have to remember that I am not the expert.

5. Be Positive

If you are positive, bring good ideas to the table, and listen to others, people will want to work with you.

Making progress is is exciting. We are motivated people working toward a common goal. It is the thing that gives me that extra rush in my day and at the end of the day, I know we accomplished something worthwhile.

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As a side note, I think it is interesting that our collaboration is all virtual because we are geographically dispersed and most of us have never met in person.

Originally published on October 14, 2015

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