Collaboration overwhelm

Collaboration; it’s a way of our working life.

According to the Harvard Business Review, collaborative responsibilities now take up around 80 percent of the average working day.

Collaboration requires conversations, meetings, slack messages, trello boards, huddles, virtual meetings, shared docs, etc. Sometimes these collaborative ways of working can be time-taxing and cause overwhelm. We are constantly checking, consulting or connecting. The variety of communication lines can become confusing, time spent discussing and consulting can rob us of valuable time to do the doing.

So how might we harness the power of collaboration without getting into overwhelm?

Less is more: Consider if a slack message or email could replace a face-to-face meeting. Review the time spent in ‘we-time’ versus ‘me-time’.

Keep it clear: Decide upon your communication channels and place protocols around their use. eg: use slack for internal communications and email for external communication, when using trello, ensure you slack the person before putting anything on their board.

Don’t aim for consensus: Provide information and thinking time, then make a deadline for a decision. Trying to gain total agreeance can be time-wasting. Decide how decisions will be made (eg: majority) and go for it.

Reflect and re-calibrate: Take time to reflect on how things are going and re-calibrate where needed. This ensures a lean, aligned approach to collaboration.


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