Collaboration in the workplace is an idea that’s been around for quite some time now. Proponents assert that it can help the workplace become more inclusive and that it also makes teams more motivated and productive. Detractors argue that collaboration in the workplace is counter-productive, and you can only achieve success on your own.
Most of us in the workplace have encountered colleagues that made collaboration impossible. Not only did they just watch out for themselves, but they were also eager to find ways to put us down so that they could draw the boss’s attention to their merits and our lack of.
Why Don’t We Share Ideas?
This is why many of us are hesitant when it comes to sharing ideas with our team members. Most of us would rather keep our ideas to ourselves, work on them on our own and present them to our boss on our own. But the problem with this is that without input from our peers our ideas are often incomplete, and they do not manage to get our message across which results in our boss shooting down our idea.
So why do we do that? Mostly because we all tend to believe that discussing, or sharing our ideas, with our colleagues will result in them stealing them or taking credit for our ideas. In fact, this belief has been so widespread in the workplace that most of us won’t even discuss our work ideas with our work besties.
But Are Our Concerns Realistic?
This belief that our colleagues will steal our ideas has been so widespread that we all believe that it’s the norm in the workplace, but is it really? The reality is that most of your colleagues wouldn’t bother stealing your idea because they’re certain that they can come up with something better. This could suggest that deep down we don’t just hide our thoughts for fear of them being stolen, but that we hide them because we are afraid that they’ll be turned down or that our boss won’t like them as much as he or she will like our colleague’s ideas.
How Does This Affect the Workplace?
This secrecy amongst colleagues results in a workplace that is not as productive as it could have been. Hiding ideas hinders creativity, and it does not enable colleagues to bond on a personal and professional level. Essentially this means that the ideas produced by individuals in the workplace are lacking and that the business is not able to push forward and become as competitive and as innovative as it could have been had its employees been more collaborative.
Why Should We Be Sharing Ideas?
Needless to say that if a workplace is not collaborative, the fault does not fall on the employees, rather it’s the management’s responsibility to push their employees towards collaboration and a mutual sharing of ideas.
Sharing ideas can be great for the workplace because rather than each individual producing one idea; the team could work on one idea and improve it, one mind is simply not as good as ten minds working on the same thing. This would make the idea both innovative and more creative, and it would ensure that the business would have a shot at becoming a leading company in its respective industry.
Sharing your thoughts with your teammates could mean that you’d be enabling your team to work collaboratively and that you’d be reinforcing everyone’s value in the workplace. Your idea could become reshaped and improved to the point that it’s not recognizable, but that’s the beauty of working with a team who’s inspired to achieve perfection.
A team that shares ideas has more chances of gaining respect – which could translate into raises. A great professional does not seek to hide their opinions; rather they are open to sharing them with their team to ensure that their ideas will be improved.
Do you work in a collaborative team? Do you think it makes you more productive? Let us know in the comments section...