Chapter 5: Collaboration Skills
Working with others to achieve shared goals.
Introduction (Why is it important?):
Working well with others is, in most cases, an essential part of participating the workforce. Teamwork, a positive attitude, being respectful of others, and being accountable for one’s own actions are seen as fundamental skills by employers.
Understand the five subsets of collaboration. The five subsets of collaboration are:
Building and maintain a continuous level of productive engagement among individuals to fulfill specific purposes.
Learn how groups are formed and structured in order to meet a collective goal or purpose; participate in a group in a role consistent with your strengths, goals and values, and/or with the needs of the groups or organization; manage the steps, roles and contributions necessary to meet your group’s goal or purpose.
Continuously monitor the progress of your group towards meeting shared goals; measure your own performance, the performance of the group and the impact of your group’s efforts.
Help move a group towards a shared vision by inspiring engagement, avocation for ethical action, promoting effective communication and resolving conflict.
There are many skills associated with being a good co-worker and team player.
Understanding how your team workers work together is essential to understanding how you fit in with this environment. Look around – ask questions – speak to your supervisor about expectations for the team.
There are some great models out there on Team Dynamics. Teams tend to go through various stages. Teams develop through learning the strengths of one another and how to effectively utilize this knowledge to get the job done. There are many models out there – depending on your areas of study (corporate team dynamics, sales team dynamics, art studio team dynamics, etc.).
One of the most famous models on Team Development is from Bruce Tuckman (1960’s). His model looks at how teams often go through various stages of development – whether this is on a staff, working on a class project as a team or even working on a committee for a project at work. Here is a brief overview of his model:
(Scholarslab.org image: retrieved: November 18, 2015).
For many, evaluation and feedback are scary things. But, it is a time to learn and grow with your experience as a student worker. For many of us, this may be one of our first jobs in the workplace. So, take advantage of feedback – it gives you a place to set goals and expectations with your supervisor. Be open to receiving feedback and be honest about your abilities. What do you need to work on? What do you want to learn on the job? These questions can help you and your supervisor set realistic and career directed goals for your experience as a student worker.
Time management is tricky! Find what works for you. There are many systems and tools out there –from using our phones (apps, etc.) to calendar systems on line!
Advantages of Time Management:
- gain time
- motivates and initiates
- reduces avoidance
- promotes review
- eliminates cramming
- reduces anxiety
Personal Goals: Understanding your goals will help you in prioritizing your activities.
Maintain your own Schedule: Effective time management helps you create a schedule that works for you – and no one else. You have to develop your own style – and prioritize what is most important to you.
Be successful! Improved time management skills can help your grades, keep stress in check, and help you be competitive in your chosen career path.
Be realistic! Don’t set unrealistic goals or too high of goals that are unrealistic! You want to be realistic for success.
SMART goals are just that... smart! Our UNM Human Resources Division created the following:
A goal is written to describe how results are to be obtained, how results will be measured and when the work will be done. The best goals are SMART!
S – Specific
- Action verb
M – Measurable
Keeps the team informed about where it stands throughout the process.
- Quantity: how many, rate or volume
- Quality: how well, level of accuracy, completeness
- Cost: how much or cost limits withihn which employee must work
- Timeliness: when must be completed
- informed about where it stands throughout the process.
A – Achievable
- “Stretch” but feasible
- Sufficiently limited in scope
- Within employee’s control and influence
R – Results-Focused
- Measures actual outputs or results, not activities
- Results include: products, deliverables, and accomplishments
T – Time-Bound
- Set time frames, target dates
- Interim steps, plan to monitor progress
With every job – there comes problems. From assisting guests/students to finding a mistake in a grant, student employees are often tasked with researching the issue and helping to solve a complex problem. We often get flustered when faced with a problem…but don’t get flustered- seek assistance with the problem. If it is something that requires thought – then do just that…think it through. Here are some basic steps for thinking through a problem:
- What are you trying to prioritize? Write everything down that you need to do.
- Then, look at each task.
- Evaluate each task as level of importance or date due. Once you have evaluated and labeled, set out a plan for each task.
- Set 3 goals for the task
- What are the objectives for the task (in other words…how are you going to get it done?)
- Break it down by dates, small steps and increments. This will help!
You will find your way... but it takes time and a little bit of effort!
So, how does this relate to your student employment job?
Here are a few examples from student employee jobs here on campus:
|Student Job on Campus||Collaboration Method|
|Residence Life and Student Housing||Working in teams and teambuilding is essential in residence life as an RA, security student staff and desk attendants. You will rely on each other for support, assistance and feedback.|
|Recreational Services - Gym Attendant||While coaching intramurals – you rely on your student staff team to help you in breaking up a conflict on the field.|
|SUB - Activities||While planning Homecoming, you work on a team to make sure all aspects of the event are divided and completed!|
|Women’s Resource Center (WRC)||When checking the lactation stations, you work as a team to divide up the stations in order to make sure all supplies are filled in each station.|
|Dean of Students Office||When working on New Student Orientation during the summer, you rely on your co-team members to assist and often work together on workshops and presentations.|
Here are how your academic classes can also help you learn effective professionalism skills:
|Classes||Professionalism Skills Developed|
|Anth 160 (Human Life)||Exploring the life history patterns of humans help to understand how individuals adapt to their environment and those around them.|
|AMST 185 (Intro to Race, Class and Ethnicity)||Understanding the world around you – and what makes you and others unique is imperative to collaboration.|
|Psychology and Sociology Classes||These classes explore how people interact, think and behave; social norms are explored.|