A version of post blog originally appeared on SMART’s Next Level Collaboration blog.
In a previous post, I explored the value of and various approaches to brainstorming, where I also I touched upon synchronous and asynchronous collaboration and the benefits of each. When it comes to collaborating at work, we all have our favorite way getting the job done. And while it’s no secret that similar types of people work well in groups, if you limit yourself to working with only those that think like you do, diversity may lack.
To ensure you get the most out of your team, take this quiz to not only learn which type of collaborator you, but also how to best work with others.
Which noun best describes you?
A. Social Butterfly
It’s time to put together that product launch plan. You:
A. Call a meeting with every internal stakeholder
B. Put the plan together and then hold a meeting with top stakeholders
C. Put together a full plan and email the team asking for their input
D. Send out a task sheet with assigned owners and completion dates
You get up to go to work. You make sure:
A. You have booked a conference room for the day – you’ve got a full schedule of in-person meetings
B. Your mobile devices are all set up for planned and ad-hoc meetings
C. You don’t forget your laptop, and if you remember, your mobile phone too
D. You remember to brush your teeth and put on clean clothes
It’s 5 p.m. You:
A. Round up a few co-workers, order a pizza and sit down discuss your next product launch
B. Pick up the kids from sports while on a conference call
C. Go offline for a few hours. You’ll check emails later that night
D. Head out and forget about work until the next morning
Your dream job is:
A. Coaching your favorite sports team
B. Anything that allows you to work remotely
C. Sitting in the computer lab, hacking together some code that you’ll share with the team later
D. Something that allows you complete autonomy
How’d you score?
If you picked mostly A’s, it’s likely you’re a The Face-to-Face (F2F) Collaborator.
You are inspired by the presence of others. Your best ideas and most stellar work come as a result of meeting with others and collecting ideas. You’re happy to sit in a room with others all day if great things will come from it.
The best way to work with a F2F Collaborator: Don’t underestimate the power of group thinking. Meeting and brainstorming sessions might not be your favorite, but join the club from time-to-time. You might find it sparks some unknown creativity. And if nothing else, it will remind those around you that you also have great ideas and deserve a seat at the table.
If you picked mostly B’s, you’re a Virtual Collaborator.
Work is what you do, not where you do it. You can pound on that keyboard all day long, or participate in a meeting from anywhere – or do both at the same time. Location and time zones don’t stop you from getting your job done.
The best way to work with a Virtual Collaborator: Ensure your laptop or room system is set up for a positive meeting experience since they won’t be in the room. Don’t exclude them simply because they can’t be physically present at your meetings. One of the ideal qualities of a virtual collaborator is that they work equally well synchronously or asynchronously. Take advantage of this and use your preferred method of collaboration.
If you picked mostly C’s, you resemble an Offline Collaborator.
You do your best thinking on your own, but you love sharing your ideas and providing input to others via email. You find meetings to be a waste of time, and you’d rather spend your day getting things done.
The best way to work with an Offline Collaborator: Appreciate that some of us aren’t as social or extroverted as others. Good ideas come from all kinds of places, not just the board room. Include your offline collaborator by sharing meeting notes and documents via email.
If you picked mostly D’s, you fall into the category of Non-Collaborator.
You prefer to work independently. Period. End of sentence.
The best way to work with a Non-Collaborator: Don’t bother.