Community collaboration is one of our best problem-solving tools personally and professionally.

Community Collaboration — 3 Ways to Use This Problem-Solving Tool Effectively

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

How many teams do you belong to? I venture to say many more than you realize!  In the broadest sense, when we interact and collaborate with one other person, we are part of a team. Therefore, as family members, as coworkers, as best friends, in neighborhood or community settings or in our involvement with various organizations, we form teams that need community collaboration to flourish. 

In life and business, if we want to accomplish the most good and avoid the worst frustration, we need to develop a team collaboration mindset. Too often, people approach their work with others through adversarial eyes that are clouded by jealousy, competition, and self-promotion. This is not surprising, since these characteristics have been fostered by the hierarchical managerial models of yesteryear. And for some, the thinking remains that if you want to get ahead you have to look out for Number 1, yourself. 

As a society, we’re being challenged like no other time in recent history. If you’re feeling frustrated, isolated, or helpless to affect real change, I urge you to embrace the power of community collaboration! It’s one of our most potent problem-solving power tools. 

Here are three ways you can learn to value a community collaboration mindset:

Community Mindset

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Make Team Members Feel Heard — 5 Ways to Let Them Set Their Terms

Louise J. Santiago shares 5 ways a team leader can help make team members feel heard by helping them create team social agreements.“He acted like he heard me but really he completely ignored me.” My client was very frustrated when she recounted a recent experience at a meeting. Theoretically, everyone was on the same page, with each person doing their part to make team members feel heard, yet the reality was one strong-willed person was dominating.

My client was initially excited about this meeting. She was thrilled to be invited to work with this team that had been chosen to collaborate on a plan to increase their organization’s commitment to equity. But she went on to relate, “My ideas were met with, ‘Oh, that’s great, and we can also do this.’ And then he went on to outline the complete opposite of what I was trying to say. It was like I wasn’t even there! I don’t know if I want to be on this team anymore.”

Sadly, this meeting on equity was anything but equitable! It was yet another meeting that got derailed by someone who wants to promote their one way of doing things. I could totally relate, I think we all can. No one likes to be ignored, discounted, misunderstood, or forced to act against their will. Yet, it happens all the time. 

As a team leader or team member, could your leadership inadvertently be causing your team to feel this way? How can you make each team member feel heard and valued within the structure of your organization? Better yet, how can you really hear, and recognize, each member of your team?

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How Effective Team Training Is Powered by Social Learning

effective_team_training“In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.” – Albert Badura

Many leaders are increasingly frustrated by the time and money wasted on traditional types of training. These seminars, workshops, and webinars, while packed with helpful information, rarely lead to tangible results. If you lead a team, finding the best way for your team to be fully engaged in what they are learning should be a priority. Which is why many organizations are looking at social learning as the real powerhouse behind effective team training.

Although the term is relatively new, social learning has been a powerful vehicle for human progress throughout history. According to ideas proposed by learning experts, such as psychologist Albert Bandura, we learn primarily via interaction and shared experience. 

One increasingly popular example of a social learning forum is YouTube. YouTube users upload their own content, on a topic of their choosing, and the content’s credibility is mainly determined by the popularity and rating of the video from those within the community. This highlights a key difference—social learning is self-regulatory. (Interestingly, an article from Wegner and Trayner comments on how some online communities mirror aspects of Communities of Practice). 

Community of practice, Team Leadership Skills

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No matter the size of your business, you can use the principles of social learning in the workplace to bring your employees closer together to work as a cohesive team.

Social Learning in the Workplace Sparks Creativity & Increases Productivity

When did you learn the big concepts that molded you into the person you are today? Were they learned in an academic lecture room or in a relaxed social context? For the most part, didn’t we learn our roles, responsibilities, and expectations from our family, neighborhood circles, and intimate discussions with teachers, trusted coaches, and advisors? Knowing this, the questions arise: How can this be translated into the workplace? How can social learning in the workplace help your team be more productive?

As CEOs and team leaders, you most likely recruited your team based on their individual merit. However, to make your collaborative project wildly successful you need a cohesive team that is fully engaged and invested in the work they do together. Yet, without an open atmosphere conducive to learning, each team member remains an individual. Before we identify how to do this, we need to establish whether employing social learning in the workplace is right for your organization. 

What types of businesses and organizations can benefit from social learning in the workplace?

Productive Team Meetings, Team Leadership Skills

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How to Keep Team Members Engaged — Social Learning Spaces Make it Easy!

As a team leader, are you wondering how to keep team members engaged, when your team lost some of its cohesiveness and enthusiasm? Try Social Learning Spaces!Is your team fully engaged in their work as a team or are they distracted? Really, who can blame them if they are distracted? This last year has brought major upheaval in how teams interact and in how work gets done. There’s no going back to normal and maybe that’s a very good thing. If you’ve been wondering how to keep team members engaged, there is a new and exciting opportunity for you! I believe leaders can use this time of transition as an opportunity to re-engage their teams through social learning spaces.

What exactly is a social learning space and how can you use it to help your team members be more fully engaged? 

Team Leadership Skills

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Louise J Santiago, PhD
Executive Coach and Organizational Consultant

Where Leadership is Intentional Work

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