In this episode, I am going to give you 10 actions that you can take to improve your collaboration efforts with your engineering team and also explain how this will benefit your career development.
Here are 10 steps to better collaboration in your engineering career.
1. Get to know your coworkers, colleagues and team members:
- When you get to know people and foster personal relationships, collaboration is easier and comes more naturally.
- Get to know them by going out to lunch with them periodically, or going out for a coffee after work.
2. Define clear roles and responsibilities and communicate expectations clearly.
- This is a really important aspect of effective collaboration.
- One component of collaborating will be assigning work to people. The best way to do this is to be clear and to lay out your expectations.
- This will facilitate collaboration and help to avoid conflict.
3. Define and discuss specific goals
- Make sure that your milestones are clear and that everybody on the team understands them, and understand what they are going to do to accomplish that goal.
4. Set aside time to discuss progress, address issues, receive feedback and suggestions
- Stop and retool occasionally in your career.
- Make sure to have progress meetings and highlight issues, or try and get feedback and suggestions from clients and incorporate them.
5. Communicate early on at the beginning of a project
- The earlier on you can open the lines of communication on one of your engineering projects, the better it is going to be.
- Sit down with your team at the beginning of projects and have a brainstorming session.
6. Foster a creative atmosphere
- Encourage people to share ideas
- Build brainstorming into your meetings
- Limit the size of your meetings
- Resist the urge to direct people
7. Allow for large chunks of individual time
- While gathering as a team is important, don’t forget to give people their individual space so that they can get their productive tasks done.
- If you don’t allow time for yourself, then you’re not going to deliver for your team.
8. Establish a productive system for communication
- Establish a really good system for your team and stick with it, as this will greatly facilitate better collaboration.
9. Make collaborative information readily available
- Use technology to make sure that information is available for your entire team.
- There is no excuse for not doing this in today’s world, as the technology to do this is readily available.
10. Include every person on the team
- Be careful not to make people feel left out, as this can cause conflict.
- Conflict can destroy collaboration.
- Be open, be informative, include people, ask them for feedback and value their opinion as this will strengthen your collaboration efforts.
More in this episode…
In the Take Action Today segment of the show, I am going to give an actionable piece of advice that you can use to start collaborating today.
When you delegate work to the member of the team, your job is to clearly frame success and describe the objectives. – Steven Sinofsky
Resources and links mentioned in this session include:
The Engineering Mastermind
TCEP 023: Goal Setting for Civil Engineers – A Whole Brained Approach with Author Stu Walesh
TECC 019: The Engineering Career Coach Podcast – How to Work Smarter as an Engineer by Utilizing Both Sides of Your Brain
This episode is brought to you by PPI, the leader of FE, PE, or SE exam prepartions. Use promo code COACH for 20 % discount at PPI2Pass.com/coach.
How can I collaborate better with my engineering teams?
We would love to hear any questions you might have or stories you might share on collaborating with your team.
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success