Leadership Slideshow: Nine Secrets to Managing Collaboration

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 08-17-2010

Foster Face2Face Communication

Encourage face2face communication. This starts with you. Walk to a team member's office or cubicle to speak with them. Not only will they appreciate it, they will learn that f2f gets work done.

Foster Face2Face Communication

Use Social Tools

Several Twitter-like tools are designed exclusively for companies. One such tool, Yammer, allows employees to create microblogs to communicate. You can set permissions, so only certain employees can view certain messages.

Use Social Tools

The Best Stuff Is Free

If your team is sharing a document or Excel spreadsheet, encourage them to use Google Docs. The free tool enables real-time collaboration so multiple parties can simultaneously edit or comment on files.

The Best Stuff Is Free

Clearly Define Roles (And Goals)

Whether a project leader or an intern, every member of your team needs to understand to whom they report and what information they can share. Every teammate must grasp the project goals. With everyone on the same page, communication flows freely.

Clearly Define Roles (And Goals)

Video Is Your Best Friend

If team members are geographically dispersed, bring video into the mix. Bandwidth speeds and advances in image quality make video a major tool.

Video Is Your Best Friend

Theres Value In Sharepoint

Microsoft's Sharepoint is a fine option if you have the budget. It has several powerful collaboration features not available in the free options mentioned earlier.

Theres Value In Sharepoint

Avoid Communication Pyramids

In some teams, the project manager can only communicate with a direct supervisor who can only talk to the next-ranking supervisor. It doesn't work. Everyone in the team needs to be able to communicate with everyone else, regardless of rank.

Avoid Communication Pyramids

Forget E-Mail

Try limiting the use of e-mail among teams as much as possible. Remember: face time is absolutely necessary for building strong teams.

Forget E-Mail

Try Instant-Messaging

IM gives your team members a speedy way to communicate. When face2face communication isn't possible, IM is a better option than e-mail.

Try Instant-Messaging