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Fostering an Environment of Collaboration

Healthy Leaders

Fostering an Environment of Collaboration

Joe HoaglandJoe Hoagland

I’ve been in many church offices where I observe walled-off office after walled-off office. I’ve also seen settings where you are the only person in the office so instead you work at home or in Starbucks by yourself every day.

So in these situations how do we spur on collaboration? Collaboration is paramount to a healthy church culture. Even if you are the only paid staff member you still need to be collaborating internally on projects, creativity, and other things.

Here are some ways we can foster an environment of collaboration within our congregation:

Create Intentional Spaces for Collaboration

Open office designs are trendy and work for many people but that does not mean it is going to work for you, or your space, or your staff. But what we should all do is create intentional spaces with collaboration. Look in your building and think of a space you could turn into a comfortable place for people to think, dream, and brainstorm. Maybe you put a nice couch and whiteboard and a space to stimulate collaboration when it is needed.

Designing even a simple space suited for collaboration is going to help your team come up with powerful new ideas.

Use A Business Messaging Client like Slack

Slack or Microsoft Teams is something you should explore right now if you are looking at fostering more collaboration in your context. Instead of relying on unreliable and annoying group texts or email chains, Slack and like-minded programs funnel all your communication into one place. All threads and discussions are searchable if you need to go back and find an important piece of communication.

Foster a Better Philosophy on Meetings

We might think, “meetings foster collaboration” but this is not necessarily the case. Better collaboration will come at less but focused and laser sharp meetings. Come in with a tight agenda and stick with it. Most marathon meetings are less productive than we think.

Build a Staff Even if You are the Only Paid Staff

It is impossible to collaborate by yourself. You need to identify people you can collaborate with and begin building that culture. You cannot do everything by yourself and every idea you have is not a good one.