More often than not, if you’re working on a project with someone, you’ll need to collaborate to effectively solve a problem. If this challenge requires a creative solution, it can be tough to find a common ground, especially if both parties have their individual ideas.
Below are three steps to take when you collaborate. The will help you with any situation that requires significant creative solutions, so that everyone involved can contribute and feel like a part of the whole process.
1. To Collaborate, You Need To Listen To Others.
The first step in working with anyone is of course listening, but this is doubly true when working towards a creative solution when you collaborate. Many times, we have our own thoughts on what is the best way to solve a problem, and might even believe anything else is inferior. I can’t count how many times I have gone into a brainstorming session thinking I had the best solution, only to be outdone with the first suggestion from someone else.
Listening to others will not only allow you to impartially evaluate all ideas, but it will also help you consider possible downsides to your own ideas. Maybe there are factors to consider that you weren’t even aware of. Only when you decide to collaborate will this come out.
2. To Collaborate, You Need To Learn From Others.
Now that you have brought all the ideas to the table, now is the time to learn from what others thought about and ways they approached the problem. Not only are there generally multiple solutions, but there are often multiple types of solutions. Take for example a group of people charged with coming up with a new marketing campaign for a struggling business. While one person might have thought of the best online advertising campaign, they may not have even considered word of mouth. And someone else might have thought of the best customer surveys to conduct to get the feedback that was sorely missing.
3. To Collaborate, You Need To Work With Others.
Taking other people into account and learning from them is all about taking in information. Now it’s time to put out effort and actually collaborate with them. Take all of the various solutions from your brainstorming sessions and the various elements that you’ve pulled together, and start to develop a plan of action. This will be one of the most difficult parts of the whole endeavor, but it’s where you actually generate a product that will be implemented.
Once you have something put together, take some time to go over it with the group to evaluate it as if it were the first time you’re seeing it. Does it answer the questions that need to be answered? Are there areas of the problem that you may have forgotten about? Are there ways to improve this solution even further?
By being flexible and knowing that a creative collaboration is an evolving process, you can really dig in and make a substantially better product. When you decide to collaborate, it can have a multiplying effect, and really drive you to think of solutions from different angles.