In this lesson, you will learn how productivity, technology, and self and social awareness can help you improve your written communication. Specifically, this lesson will cover:
- Skills in this Unit
- Tips for Collaborative Teamwork
1. Skills in This Unit
Welcome to Unit 4! These lessons will focus on group communication, effective collaboration, and ensuring you choose the best tool for the job. In many careers, success will depend on your ability to work well with others— to collaborate on various projects and tasks. You may be asked to present to a group, meet with co-workers to develop a solution to a problem, or partner with other teams and organizations to reach shared goals.
It is important to understand the role you play in any group interaction. Are you the leader? Are you seen as an expert? Do you work to support and provide feedback to other group members? Understanding the purpose and cycle of a group can help you determine the most effective role you can play.
It is also critical to understand that a role at work can be different than the same role in a personal setting. If you are organizing a camping trip with friends, would you use the same strategies for organizing a work retreat? Would you choose the same tone and language?
When it comes to collaborating in the modern world, there are a number of tools you can use to improve the way you send and receive ideas and information. A successful builder maintains a quality toolbox in order to have the right tool on hand for the job. The same is true for a successful collaborator. The modern workplace requires us to understand and utilize digital tools to communicate effectively. But how will you choose the right tool for the jobs you face?
Just as the 10 skills are important in oral and written communication, strong productivity, technology, and self and social awareness skills can help you collaborate more effectively in the workplace.
In particular, we will focus on the following:
- Being on time for meetings is important. It demonstrates professionalism and a respect for others.
- Being prepared and having a plan for any group interaction is important. *Time is a valuable commodity and no one wants theirs wasted on conversations that are not relevant to the task at hand.
- Technology issues happen, but planning ahead and selecting the best tool for the job can help reduce the likelihood they will happen to you.
Self and Social Awareness
- Being familiar with tools for communication is key to ensuring you select the best one and use it optimally.
- It is important to select the best tool for the given audience and purpose.
- Technology can be used to facilitate different types of communications as well as help to support productivity measures.
- Understanding your role in any group setting ensures you are prepared and can contribute to the group's overall goals.
- Conflict can and will arise at times when working with others. Being aware of diverse points of view and seeking to understand them can help de-escalate the situation.
- Teams comprised of individuals in different roles can accomplish great things, but only if each team member has an understanding of their strengths and the role they play.
Throughout the course, be on the lookout for various call-outs to help you better see the connections between the skills and the course content.
- Productivity Skill
- A skill that helps you organize your communication in the best way possible.
- Technology Skill
- A skill that helps you use digital tools to improve your communication no matter what career you pursue.
- Self and Social Awareness Skill
- A skill that helps you understand yourself and how you relate to others so you can modify your communication to any situation or audience.
2. Tips for Collaborative Teamwork
You can think of collaboration like paddling a row boat in a fast-moving river. To reach your destination, you need to communicate— you need to decide how you’ll get where you want to go. The better you are at communicating, the easier this process will be.
The same is true in the workplace. When you strengthen your communication skill, you’ll be better equipped to collaborate with your colleagues to reach team goals.
The following tips for collaborative teamwork can help you ensure that you are working with your colleagues in an effective and efficient way:
Take time to align on goals.
Engage with all team members by communicating clearly and openly.
Actively listen to others when they are speaking. Attend to nonverbal cues.
Make an effort to practice inclusivity. Acknowledge each member’s contributions.
Work to identify group roles and responsibilities.
Organize and prepare for discussions. Be on time!
Respect all team members and their diverse opinions.
Kickoff discussions by welcoming all team members. Know and pronounce names correctly. Ask if you’re not sure!
In this lesson, you learned that group communication requires effort and skill. Things like understanding the role you play, knowing your strengths, and being mindful of your coworkers' time are critical to ensuring successful group interactions. The skills in this unit include productivity, technology, and self and social awareness. Strong productivity skills can help you stick to a schedule, which is something everyone appreciates. Self and social awareness aids you in recognizing your strengths, which can help you play your role to the best of your ability. If part of your role is selecting a tool to help communicate your message, strong technology skills are critical.
As you work through this unit, keep these skills in mind. Additionally, the tips for collaborative teamwork will help you practice your skills to ensure that working with your colleagues is a positive and productive experience.
Best of luck in your learning!