Day 18: 7 Steps to Better Collaboration

Today’s post about better videoconference projects has absolutely nothing to do with networks or hardware. Collaboration skills can definitely be learned and developed. Here are seven ways to become a better collaborative partner for projects for your teachers.

Read Your Email

And respond to your email in a timely manner. Just do it. So many times when the Inbox is flooding in, I just sit there and read through 100 emails. Set aside time and plow through them. If you can do it in under 2 minutes, do it. If it takes longer, put it in the “Next Steps” folder. Be sure to get a block of time to work on that, too. Learn more about Inbox Zero from Merlin Mann.

Be Reliable

Complete assigned tasks, communicate clearly, don’t disappear, follow through.

Make Suggestions

Be sure to listen first and think about how you might suggest to do something differently.

Be Flexible

Life happens. Kids get sick. Severe weather changes schedules. Cats throw up. Cars break down. You never know what might delay or disrupt the best laid plans. Extend grace and understanding to your partners. It might be you needing it in the near future.

Contribute Passionately

Only do things that matter to you. If you really don’t care, don’t do it. That sounds harsh, but if you really don’t care and you are just going through the motions, you will end up disappointing another class or group that are depending on you for a connection.

Give Credit

If it is not yours, don’t pretend that it is. If you use a structure and adapt it to your teachers and your curriculum, give a link back or a note of whose work it is based on. Also, make sure that you tell your teachers and students when they ROCK! I loved when Karen McCollough shared “There is enough “rock” to go around!” in her keynote at TxDLA conference last year. So true!

Know Your Strengths

I love to tinker with design. I truly enjoy editing and making things look good easily understandable. I do not like to be the originator. I will do it, but I prefer to work with someone who can generate a great deal of ideas and let me tinker and polish them. I flourish in teams where I can contribute those skills.

What are some examples and non-examples of effective collaborators?

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