Collaboration Skills: Definition, Benefits And Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 7 December 2022

Published 1 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Regardless of the industry or job role you work in, you are likely to encounter situations where you collaborate with others to get the job done. Knowing how to collaborate and cooperate with others increases workplace efficiency, helps in career advancement, and ensures you achieve organizational goals. Understanding more about collaboration or cooperation skills can ensure workplace success. In this article, we discuss what collaboration skills are, explore the benefits, provide a few examples of this skill set and understand how to improve and highlight your collaboration skill set.

Related: Collaboration Vs. Cooperation (With Main Differences)

What Are Collaboration Skills?

Collaboration skills help you work well with others to complete a task or develop ideas together. When you collaborate with others, you work together to achieve a common goal. For instance, a design team may use this skill set to develop new products or solve an existing problem for customers. Regardless of the task at hand, cooperation skills allow you to work effectively in a team, making it one of the most sought-after skills for different job roles.

Often, employers prefer hiring candidates who display exceptional cooperation skills during interviews. To collaborate successfully at the workplace, you require strong communication skills, active listening skills, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence. Also, through collaboration, you have time to listen to the ideas of others, allowing you to learn something new.

Related: 11 Ways To Collaborate With Your Team (With Benefits)

Benefits Of Collaboration

Being collaborative brings a lot of advantages, such as:

  • Solves problems: Solving complex workplace problems alone can be an overwhelming task. Collaborating with others and listening to their opinions is a great way to solve problems.

  • Inspires self-analysis: When you work collaboratively, you notice your strengths and weaknesses. It helps you identify areas that require help from experts.

  • Increases efficiency: When you work together, it becomes easier to complete projects and meet deadlines. Instead of working on a complete project, collaboration divides the task in ways that leverage everyone's strengths.

Examples Of Collaboration Skills

Here are a few examples of this skill set:

Communication skills

When working collaboratively, strong communication skills are necessary. Teams, where all team members share their ideas and contribute to achieving a common goal, are more collaborative than teams where no one shares their thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Sharing your thoughts and ideas succinctly without disrespecting the ideas of others can ensure collaborative work. Having excellent written communication is necessary; otherwise, your words may deliver a message you did not intend to communicate. Employers prefer hiring candidates with excellent written and verbal communication skills to work in collaboration with others.

Related: 4 Types Of Communication (With Tips)

Organizational skills

When working in a team, organizational skills are equally important because they ensure task delegation and timely completion of projects. If two employees work on the same task, it can become confusing and adversely affect the project's outcome. Delegating tasks to team members ensures no task gets reassigned, all team members feel valued and you efficiently manage the workload without feeling overwhelmed.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition And Examples

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is your ability to stay in control of how you identify and express your emotions to others. Employers prefer candidates with strong emotional intelligence because it facilitates better cooperation and collaboration in the workplace. This is one of the most important skills because it ensures you act respectfully and professionally in every situation. Using your emotional intelligence, you can understand that a snappy colleague requires some help with their workload. Picking up such cues can help you build a collaborative environment and ensure everyone on the team works together to achieve a common goal.

Adaptability

For building a collaborative workplace, employers prefer candidates who can adapt to changes. This is because the project may not go as planned, resulting in unforeseen delays and shifts in priorities. The ability to adapt to the changing workplace requirement is essential for collaborative work.

Related: Adaptability: An Essential Skill for Changing Workplaces

Conflict resolution

Unresolved conflicts with colleagues or clients can halt a project. Employers prefer candidates who can resolve workplace conflicts by understanding the opinion and beliefs of both parties to resolve the conflict. Conflict management or resolution is important for collaborative work because it helps a team move past conflicts and work towards organizational goals.

Related: What Is Conflict Resolution? Using This Practice At Work

Active listening

Active listening is not only about what your colleagues or managers are saying. It means listening to others without making a judgment. When you actively listen to others, you try to understand the meaning behind what they want to say. Listening with empathy and without judging is essential for building a collaborative workplace.

How To Develop Your Collaboration At The Workplace

Here are a few ways to develop collaboration in the workplace:

1. Communicate clearly

When communicating with others, communicate your intentions clearly before starting the work. Effective communication is essential for working collaboratively, especially when you are collaborating with other departments. Instead of using department-specific acronyms and technical words, use language that is easily understandable by everyone. Also, communicate the work scope, timeline, and contribution to your team. If, because of some reason, you cannot meet the project's deadline or finish a task, communicate this as well.

2. Actively listen

When working in a team, it is essential to listen to every idea, advice, or feedback. Being considerate and respectful of others' ideas is an excellent way to build a collaborative work atmosphere. While you may have ideas to complete a project, taking your colleague's opinion may prove beneficial. This gives you more opportunity to take advantage of a colleague's area of interest and expertise.

Related: Active Listening Skills: Definition And Examples

3. Solve problems

In a business or workplace environment, mistakes can happen. Though you cannot eliminate them, you can collaboratively overcome these mistakes as a team. Instead of blaming others for a mistake, look for ways to find solutions to rectify it. When a team calmly focuses on analyzing the situation, they work together to find solutions. To enhance your cooperation skills, it is essential to forgive the mistakes of others and ensure you take responsibility when you commit an error. This builds trust and ensures team members are comfortable communicating, even after making a mistake.

4. Celebrate success

One good way of motivating a team and ensuring a collaborative workplace is celebrating success together. In both entry-level and leadership job roles, it is essential to take time to commemorate achievements with your colleagues or team members. Regardless of how small the success is, thank your colleagues for their contribution and let them know you appreciate their efforts.

How To Highlight Collaboration Skills

During the recruitment process, employers look for candidates who can work in a collaborative environment. Understanding how to use the skill in your resume, cover letter (CV) and interview can help you get hired for a desirable job:

1. On your resume

When writing your resume, review the job description to understand and identify collaborative skills desirable for a job role. Also, understand how much collaborative work the job entails. This can help you highlight your skill set in your resume and share examples of when you worked collaboratively with others. You can present the cooperation skills in the skills section as bullet points or list them under the work experience section as a part of your job duties.

You can even mention it as a part of your resume summary. Some desirable and most sought-after skills are conflict management, communication, adaptability, organizational skills, and emotional intelligence.

Example:

  • Established and coordinated daily stand-up meetings with the Agile team to understand the project's status

  • Worked collaboratively with the marketing team to grow the existing customer base by 25%

2. On your CV

A CV that mentions accolades and recognition relating to exceptional collaboration in a previous role can capture the attention of potential employers. So, identify skills you have that align with the job requirement and write them in your CV. You can even provide a list of skills to help an employer understand you can facilitate collaboration and cooperation in the workplace.

Example:

  • A reliable and responsible individual who can work under stress and willingly adapt to changing work environment

  • Dedicated and motivated team member

Related: CV Template: Importance, Components And Example

3. During your interview

For job roles that require you to work in a collaborative workplace, come to the interview prepared with specific examples of times when you used your collaborative skills to complete job-specific duties. Provide evidence that you enjoy and are good at working as a part of a team. You can even describe situations where you resolved disagreements between colleagues to ensure the project's timely completion.

Apart from giving examples from the past, show your skills to the interviewer during the interview. By actively listening and communicating clearly, you can convince an interviewer that you are a suitable candidate for the job.

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