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Take a moment to think about what brought you to the place you are today…how did you come to start your own business? Why did you decide to serve on a board? Did you grow up where you live and work now, or did you ever make a big move? What motivated those big decisions? In life, we each have moments where we must make big decisions that could go more than one way. How do we choose the direction to follow?

Teamwork is the same way. When we get together with our company’s employees or even with fellow board members who have diverse skills and talents, we’re faced with opportunities for innovation and growth, and there are many paths we can take to reach the most collaborative state.

In Opening Doors to Teamwork and Collaboration: 4 Keys That Change Everything, Judith H. Katz and Frederick A. Miller, Executive Vice President and CEO, respectively, for The Kaleel Jamison Consulting Group, Inc., share four tips that that can help you discover even richer teamwork and experience more effective collaboration. Here’s how they describe the four keys:

 

1) Lean Into DiscomfortOpens the Door to Trust

When you open this door, it may feel like you are taking a risk. If you want greater teamwork and collaboration, sometimes you must Lean Into the Discomfort you feel in getting to know others better and becoming a stronger and closer team. How else can we work together? How else can we solve problems and eliminate confusion and wasted effort?

When I Lean Into Discomfort, I help make it safer to be honest and open with you. As I feel safer, and you feel safer, we can open the door to trust. Unless I am willing to Lean Into Discomfort, the door to those possibilities and potential will remain closed.

 

2) Listen as an AllyOpens the Door to Collaboration

When I Listen as an Ally, it enables me to hear what you, my employees or fellow board members are saying, and it allows for all of us to build on each other’s ideas.

Slowing down to really hear you is the key that unlocks the door to collaboration, which results in the faster achievement of our goals.

 

3) State Your Intent and Intensity – Opens the Door to Understanding

When you State Your Intent and Intensity, it helps my employees, fellow board members and me take the guesswork out of suggestions or directions and opens the door to greater understanding of each other. Stating My Intent and Intensity does the same for you.

As the door to understanding is opened, I see how to contribute more quickly, confidently and decisively. When I know how best to contribute, I know how to add value; and if you do the same, we can each add greater value. And this combined greater value results in our saving time as we achieve right first-time interactions.

 

4) Share Your Street Corner – Opens the Door to Breakthroughs

When you Share Your Street Corner and I share mine, we learn to hear differences as contributions, rather than as sources of conflict. As we share our different perspectives, we can see the fuller 360-degree view, use our combined resources and achieve breakthroughs none of us could have envisioned or accomplished alone.

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