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How to enhance team collaboration

How to enhance team collaboration

How to enhance team collaboration

Hey guys

we are having an engineering meeting and there are going to be local participants as well as some joining in via video conference. It's going to be at least 20 people.

With such a large team, we often find that people don't participate enough and don't speak up (are not confident enough or not used to addressing a large team)

Hence, i was looking to enhance and increase participation from everyone. Can someone suggest any ideas?


RE: How to enhance team collaboration

Often the people calling in feel ignored, because of the level of noise in the main conf room drowns them out and the use of white boards can alienate those calling in.

Main thing is to acknowledge them and prompt for their participation and don't let people talk louder to ensure they are heard over the user.

I have hung up from many calls for these 2 reasons.

RE: How to enhance team collaboration

Ok, our conferencing solution works quite good and we actually constantly encourage participation but it still remains low.

I was looking for creative ways to enhance this - maybe offer up an ipod or something to the most valuable participant? I don't know - just thinking up ideas here

thanks guys

RE: How to enhance team collaboration


One conference I went to asked each participant to state what question they had, that they would need to be addressed, at the start of the meeting.   As each question was addressed during the meeting the moderator checked off the question on the white board.   Then at the end he asked each of the participants if the discussion answered their question, and if they needed any further elaboration.  I was suprised how effective that approach was in getting everybody to be involved and making sure the each of the issues that was on their minds got addressed.  Not certain if that will work in your situation, but you maybe able to adapt it for your purposes.

Jim C.

RE: How to enhance team collaboration

I occasionally will ask someone on the team to talk briefly about a project they are working on, what is going well, and what is  not going well.  Often other teammates are more willing to participate if they feel like they are helping a peer than if they feel they are speaking to a group.  Not sure if this fits with the purpose of your meeting, just an idea.

RE: How to enhance team collaboration

When I taught, I learned that some people will not speak up no matter what unless you force them to by directly asking them a question. As the meeting goes on, note to yourself who is not speaking and then ask those people about the subject at hand.

"NOTHING is more important in a database than integrity." ESquared

RE: How to enhance team collaboration

I've been working with a data cabling team for some time and have had the same problems you encountered. I think that it is important that you set expectations at the start of the meeting, tell them your agenda and what you hope to accomplish at the end of the day. I believe this is one of the most important steps that managers skip whenever we call for a meeting. By doing this, your people will know exactly what your meeting is about and that they will know how they will react/respond to you.

New and Used Telephone Systems,
Data Cabling
Telstra and other Carrier's

RE: How to enhance team collaboration

Hi All,

Appreciate all of yours reply and wants to add some more.

I thought what motivates programmers, network engineers, and all? Here's a few that i thought would work out:-

# Gift cards for Sithbucks.

# Public recognition (awards, certificates, trophies, etc...).

# Sending them to conferences.

# Exclusivity of technical stuff. E.g. rewarding best performing tech staff with bigger monitors, more monitors, latest versions of software, etc... Visible stuff that makes them feel superior to others.

# Financial rewards (stock options, bonuses).

And many more as per you.



RE: How to enhance team collaboration


Visible stuff that makes them feel superior to others.

I think that's quite a dangerous strategy, bearing in mind the possibility of it causing resentment/jealousy within the team.

The internet - allowing those who don't know what they're talking about to have their say.

RE: How to enhance team collaboration

I'm with Ken, not only can that backfire within the team (Hey John isn't better than me, why does he get the cool monitor?), but could create a lot of resentment from other teams or even people who are not IT. Making people feel superior tends to make them act superior which tends to make other people go out of their way to make them feel inferior.

"NOTHING is more important in a database than integrity." ESquared

RE: How to enhance team collaboration

I personally don't think work is a game show and always resented when my management tried to make it into one.  Physical prizes or intangibles (days off, better cubicle, etc) don't motivate everybody... therefore you wind up with some that do motivate that way now leading the talking points in meetings and possibly having a greater influence in departmental direction.  

The question comes down to whether you are motivating people to compete for goods or trying to get the best outcomes from your staff.  I don't typically share in those big meetings.  I do share, but on a personal, one-on-one level.  I work well in teams because I am an observer of individual dynamics.  I make my suggestions strategically where and when I know they'll have the best impact and chance of taking root.  I've offered up ideas in meetings and had them railed against by one or two vocal opponents... others who may agree don't want to take a stand with the guy who is being argued against by a manager for instance and so it appears that there is no support.... then take those same ideas into various one-on-ones and within a few months get recognized for improving efficiency or somesuch.

In my opinion big team meetings are not always the best solution for encouraging interaction.... Personally I would try out a website forum approach with regular postings from management on topics that they need to have solved.  Allow back and forth commentary, but make sure that team members have a direct mail or phone outlet as well.
Ex. Management posts a need to improve ticket response times (speed of service) and mentions some of the ideas they have had as to why speed of service is what is...
Comments start with a suggestion or two then someone mentions a process or application that hinders them.  Once people see that discussion is encouraged I expect that you'd get at the root of the ticket issue and have multiple options available to solve.

Just my wooden nickel.


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