Working Collaboratively With an Internal/External Team

We often find ourselves in the position of being the extra. We’re the extra set of hands, the outside perspective and the partner to our clients and agency teams. Along the way, we’ve learned four things that make our teams more collaborative and seamless in our approach.

Set Goals

Preferably, both teams would work together on this, but if not, make sure you get measurable goals that are supportive of the company vision in front of all members. You can’t expect results when people aren’t working toward the same goals.

Find a System that Works for Your Situation

For some, a shared Google sheet is perfect. For others, Slack and Dropbox might be the right combination. Others may need a more structured project management tool, like Basecamp or Asana, or maybe even a social media scheduling assistant like Agorapulse. Whatever it is, find something that works and check back throughout the process to determine if it’s still working. You can always make your system better, so never get too comfortable. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve your communication.   

Make Your Communication Frequent, Expected and Efficient

Do the weekly call, but only if it makes sense. So many times we set a call because we think it’s the only way. And for the most part that’s true, it does hold people accountable. It gives answers to any questions that are best clarified as a team. But…calls need to be efficient. Go into the call knowing what topics will be covered and who will run the call to keep things moving. Start with a brief list of topics and make sure everyone on the call has it beforehand. If your call takes longer than 30 minutes on a regular week, it may mean your communication in between calls needs to be improved.  

Meet in Person When You Can

When you actually take time to meet, it can eliminate problems. There’s something to be said for a face-to-face meeting. Being able to sense or read the confusion on your client’s face, expand or clarify different processes can prove to be an efficient and effective tactic. You don’t have to rework your whole schedule to do this. Stop by on your way into work or at the end of the day. And remember, a cup of coffee can really improve someone’s day.

 

Give it a try. Make sure you’re doing these four things to find your groove when working with other teams. At the end of the day, your goals are their goals, and you become one team.

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