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Collaboration- A Challenge for You

Originally posted: August 28, 2009 on TrishMcFarlane.com

It’s Friday and I’m throwing out a challenge to anyone involved in social media- I challenge you to find at least one person you met online (via blogging, Twitter, Facebook, etc.) and collaborate with that person on something.  It can be something simple like guest posting for each other’s blogs, or a bigger commitment like working on an e-book together or even starting a revolution (#HRevolution!).  And, it should be someone you have not already collaborated with.

TeamworkI’ve been thinking a lot about collaboration lately, probably because I’ve been doing many different types of collaborating.  Whether at work, with online friends from blogging or Twitter,  working with the March of Dimes, or with other parents, it has been a time where many differnt projects are all happening at once for me. 

The most interesting thing for me has been my experience collaborating with people I have met through social media sites.  For me, being able to collaborate effectively involves a great deal of trust in the team I’m working with.  If someone would have told me just one year ago that I would be able to forge strong, trusting relationships with other HR professionals online, I would have been skeptical.  But in the last year, I have been able to “meet” and get to know many smart, talented, dedicated, and passionate HR pros that I now have the privlidge of working with.  It has been amazing.

So, what are some guidelines you can use as you work with someone new on a project?  Here are some common themes that lead to effective collaboration:

  1. Common Goal– Each contributor should understand what the goal is and be willing to work toward it.
  2. Established Roles– Ensure that each contributor on the team understands the expectations and what role he or she will be responsible for.
  3. Decisions– Decide how decisions will be made.  Will it be by a majority vote, consensus, decision by the team leader?
  4. Process and Planning– Have an agreed upon plan for the contributors to follow.  Encourage discussion of creative approaches to the process of reaching the goal.
  5. Communication– Encourage frequent communication whether in person, via phone, net meeting, etc.  Contributors must be willing to share their ideas in order for the process to be effective.
  6. Trust– Trust in the team so that you know you can count on each member to always give their very best effort to the project.

So, let me know if you take on this challenge.  I’d love to share some of the great results you have.  Or, if you guest post for someone, let me know and I’ll help you promote it!  And, if you’d like to collaborate with me, let me know.  I’m always excited for the opportunity to work with someone new.  Happy Friday!

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