How can I explain C is for? It’s three words – challenges, connections, collaboration – that spark so many emotions and thoughts. Everyone sees these terms in a different way, so where to begin? Let’s start with collaboration.

Workplaces are a mixture of personalities. A great workplace sees these personalities working in harmony – you can guess how a bad workplace functions. Administrators have a mentality that looks beyond these personalities and works out how everything fits together. Adaption and flexibility are essential to keeping collaboration working. Have you thought how on earth a new person will fit in, then wondered however the workplace did without them?

Collaboration in the workplace starts with leadership. Good structure and instruction help to manage the challenges, and encourage good work practices. By using tools that suit a diverse range of personalities, and by using monitoring and clear evaluation procedures, collaboration should flourish. But does it?

According to Cornerstone on Demand 1 72% of those surveyed want in-person collaboration, and yet meetings are seen as a scourge of workplaces. How can businesses get the balance right? Huffington Post 2 assessed the survey and notes that factors that encourage collaboration include positive recognition of input shared (50 percent), encouragement from senior staff (41 percent), ability to easily share input with different departments (33 percent), and more. Let’s talk about challenges.

Were you surprised C wasn’t for communication? I thought about this, but communication is integral in collaboration, and often is a large part of the challenges administrators face in the workplace. How often are support personnel left out of discussions, and then expected to know how to move forward? Challenges occur every day – it’s how you approach these challenges that make the difference.

In my blog I explain that administrators should given the freedom to think 3. Administrators sometimes see solutions that others do not, and by sharing information and good collaboration those challenges faced will hopefully be reduced, or solutions found. Who do you go to when you have a problem? Have you formed a strong connection with someone in your office that you trust and know they support you?

Connections are important. Celeste Headlee talks about 10 ways to have a conversation 4. One of her key ‘take home’ points from the talk is that listening is the most important skill to develop. It’s the way that people connect with others. Have you ever asked a colleague what they are interested in? Have you stopped to have a two-minute conversation that’s not about work? You don’t need to be interested in the same things, but by acknowledging their interest, did you find a connection? Administrators are always finding ways to connect with others. It may be (and I’m not endorsing this) that an administrator knows exactly how you like your coffee or tea. Positive interaction helps to form a good connection no matter how trivial it may be.

Going back to my previous statement, the workplace is full of personalities. By looking at how you connect with others and how the team collaborates can help to work through challenges and strengthen relationships.


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Coming up next: D is for Direction