3 Ways You Can Collaborate Like a Champ

As I like to tell my 10th grader when she whines about a group project for school, life is a group project. Every genius is part of a great team and they build on the discoveries of others. Real collaboration is transformative ­– get it right and you could find yourself doing the best work of your career.

When assembling a team, each person brings their unique skillsets to the table, which then lets us come up with a more holistic solution. Having a more diverse team, in terms of experiences as well as skills, can only make your work better, too. As a copywriter, I welcome the opportunity to work closely with designers, developers, and UX team members because having those additional perspective makes me a more effective writer.

We’re probably all familiar with some version of the design-thinking process: we come together, go our separate ways and do our own thing, and then come back together again. These are key moments in the creative process.

At the start of the project, you need to make sure your team is going away to work on their specific areas with a good understanding of what the rest of the team is doing. When you came back together, you need to fully understand what work everyone else has been doing, too. There are two ways to do this:

  • Get your team together around one computer and attack the problem together, thinking about it from your different perspectives and with your different areas of expertise. It feels awkward and weird at first, but it yields great results. If you’ve never been part of a design sprint, this is a common practice.
  • Get the team in a room and have everyone fully debrief on what you’ve been working on. Ask a lot of questions, and look for the seams, the places where your work connects, and try to make them seamless.

The best advice I can give you about collaboration is pretty old fashioned and common sense, but it absolutely works:

  1. Talk every day
  2. Respect people’s flow, but ask questions as they come up, rather than saving them for later and assuming the answer in the meantime
  3. Sit together as a team if you can. Try and avoid having a set of stairs between you at all costs — it makes it way too easy for your team to not speak face-to-face, especially if you’re also busy on other projects and working with other teams

So now that you have some insight into how I lead teams, let’s talk about your next project. Whether it’s advertising, marketing, branding, video, or digital content, I can help!

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