Collaboration between co-workers is about taking communication and team-building to the next level. Feedback on a project is important when it’s completed, but you can also help your co-workers along the way by making goal suggestions to them. This will help them with their performance, as well as helping your team and the company in the long run.
When making goal suggestions, there are a few things to keep in mind in order to make it worthwhile to your co-worker, as well as yourself.
Consider your audience: Is this a manager, an intern or an entry-level co-worker? Are they in the same department as you? Are you making goal suggestions based on your experience and theirs combined?
When making goal suggestions, it’s important to remember who is on the receiving end of your advice. There may be instances where you make the same suggestions to an intern and a manager — but more than likely, their goals and work habits will be different. Are you helping them break down a bigger goal? Would your approach be beneficial with their work habits? Knowing your audience is vital to making a goal suggestion.
Proactive versus corrective: Opening the conversation with, “You did this completely wrong,” is probably not the best way to help a co-worker reach their goals. In order to avoid making your audience get defensive, take a more proactive approach. For example, “I see that you’re working on this goal. May I suggest doing this step first?” If you’ve worked on a similar project in the past, mention that and let them know why that particular approach worked.
Don’t forget to listen: It’s great that you’re taking the time to make suggestions, but don’t forget to actually listen to your co-worker. Before you jump to conclusions, find out why they’re approaching the project in a particular way and make your suggestions based on that. There may be pieces to the puzzle that you’re not aware of that can steer the project in a different direction than what you assume. Ask your co-worker why they are using a certain approach before making suggestions.
Consider the timeline: Sometimes, it’s necessary to skip smaller steps to tackle a big project on a deadline. Before throwing out suggestions, consider the timeline. Do they have time for a particular approach or is it crunch time?
Don’t forget the big picture: What is the expected end result? Just as you have to remember the big picture when you set your own personal goals, it’s important to know what your co-workers are working toward in order to make useful suggestions. If the goals you suggest derail a project from the big picture, then they’re a waste of time. Knowing your impact doesn’t just end with your own projects — understand what your co-workers are doing before jumping in to help them out with their goals.
What else would you add to this list?