Healthy Collaboration: What I’ve learned from having to work with (gasp) humans.

photo-1464162770807-4d17de4a1c52Spend more than five minutes at Intelligent Demand, as either a client or an employee, and chances are you’ll be asked to collaborate on something. Nobody here works in a silo. Collaboration, especially with a group of wildly intelligent, unique, creative humans like the ones hired here at Intelligent Demand, is great and rewarding. But just like any relationship, it’s not without the occasional hiccup. So what can you do to collaborate better with people? Here are just a few of the things I’ve learned from having to rely on and collaborate with people on a consistent, daily basis:

1. Figure out how the other person communicates.

I am a social butterfly. Or, if you’ve ever taken the DISC assessment, an “I”. A fast-moving people person.  I am highly passionate and talkative. My design counterpart is more organized and controlled. While I’m getting chastised for not always tracking my time in our work management software, she’s organizing our creative system. Hey, different strokes for different folks…right? Though our styles may be different, we’ve learned how to communicate well together. How? What works for me, won’t always work for her – We needed to reach a compromise. Take the time to understand other peoples’ strengths (and weaknesses), and communicate often and early to make sure you’re on the same page. You might find out that they fill gaps in your knowledge, and you do the same for them.

2. Listen.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Be quick to listen, slow to speak”? Yeah? Well, it’s true. There’s no getting around it. To work with people, you have to listen to their ideas. Even when you think you’ve got the answer; even when you think they’re wrong or misguided. Hear them out, completely. Who knows, they may provide a game-changing perspective that hadn’t occurred to you yet.

3.  Make sure you really understand.

Agency life moves fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. photo-1460518451285-97b6aa326961No matter how fast you think you may need to move, you need to take the time to understand the people you’re working with and their ideas. Pause, think through what your co-worker, client, etc. is saying, and then, respond. Trust me, it will make a world of difference.

4. Let your ego take a back seat.

I’m going to let you into a little secret – At the end of the day, this isn’t about you. The work you’re creating is bigger than you. Whether it’s successful or not, it can have big implications. The more you let your ego take a back seat, the more teachable you become, and the more your work benefits both you, your coworkers, and your clients.

No, we’re not reinventing the wheel here. These are the practical tips I’ve personally learned from working with both internal and client teams. Thorough, deep communication is one of the most applicable skills a human being can have, no matter your area of expertise or career. Heck – Some of these tips may even be able to help you in your personal life; you never know when effective collaboration and communication will save the day.

Collaboration with clients is an area we excel at. If you’re looking to work in a truly collaborative environment with your agency partner, or just looking to improve the collaboration between your internal sales and marketing teams, contact us here , and we’ll make sure your sales and marketing teams are working together like peanut butter and jelly.

Mariel DuPont

Author Mariel DuPont

More posts by Mariel DuPont

Mariel is a part of the creative team at Intelligent Demand. She develops content for clients—video scripts, emails, landing pages, offers, and more—to drive user engagement, promote awareness, and convert prospects into leads, leads into customers, and customers into advocates.

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