Christmas is right around the corner and if you’re like me, you have yet to buy presents for ANYONE. I know – I missed all of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, and trust me, I’ll regret it later when my credit card statement comes in the mail. Buying presents can be a headache…I mean, what do I give my dad who already has a garage and basement full of “toys”?
When I started thinking about it, collaboration in the workplace is just like gift giving – all the way from the “Where do we start?” stage, to the “How do I wrap this?” stage…
Getting Started – Where do we start?!
From a collaborative standpoint, this stage is all about getting organized. Put together your goals and objectives! This stage will help you keep the big picture in mind when you are narrowing in on the small details. – From a gift buying standpoint, this is where you need to decide WHO you really need to buy presents for and set a deadline…4:00 am on December 25th might be pushing it.
Mobilizing the Troops – Time’s running out…divide and conquer!
This stage is where you decide who will be on the team, and what role each person will hold. You also want to make sure that each team member is aware of the communication ground rules and is willing to keep the lines of communication open. Let them know of the goals, objectives, and expectations for the project. – Are you running out of time? Maybe you need to call in back up. Your spouse? Your sibling? Your mom? You need to make sure this person is trustworthy; you don’t want the gift list leaked to those who will be receiving the gifts!
Setting a Direction – What’s the budget? What are we buying?!
It’s time for the specifics. Identify and prioritize issues. You may already have this in mind, but fresh eyes may have new suggestions. Discuss the budget, and make sure everyone agrees on this limit. – Make a list and check it twice…no matter if they’ve been naughty or nice. Make sure to have your list ready BEFORE you go shopping and save yourself from a headache! Don’t forget to discuss a budget for each person and stick to it.
Taking Action – Off to the store (or internet) we go!
1, 2, 3…Break! Get started working on your individual assignments. – Get in your car or head to your favorite comfy chair with your laptop/phone and start shopping!
Reviewing and Refining – I’ll wrap and you sign the cards!
Meet back together as a team and report your findings. This is the stage where you get it ready for presentation! – Turn on the Christmas music and gather your elves; it’s time to wrap the presents! Don’t worry, if you’re not good at wrapping presents, nobody’s perfect and it’s the thought that counts…right?
My favorite tool to use when collaborating with a group? Tour de Force! Our software solutions make it EASY to store, share, and analyze data.