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Human beings are highly social creatures. We rely on others to survive and thrive in every context of our lives. So, it’s no understatement that cooperation and communication lie at the heart of our society, workforce, and day-to-day interactions. 

In the work we do as recruiting professionals, our connections and interactions with others are paramount in fostering new relationships, work opportunities, and creating a reputation for ourselves.

At its core, regardless of how good you understand the traits and characteristics your clients are looking for, exemplary recruiters know that respect, politeness, consideration, and communication are the foundation of the business. These soft skills are arguably more important when collaborating with diverse people and personalities on a daily basis. 

Elements of Successful Collaboration 

Successful collaboration doesn’t just happen overnight; it takes time to develop the necessary skills and to understand how to put them into practice in every interaction, especially at work. But, we can become more effective collaborators with some effort and conscious communication.

  1. Open-mindedness 

One of the most important aspects of collaboration is open-mindedness, or the willingness to accept new, differing ideas. Working with many kinds of clients and candidates introduces recruiters to all different types of personalities, beliefs, and worldviews. It’s our job to navigate them and accept those ideas and people for what and who they are. Of course, this doesn’t require us to agree or accept others’ beliefs, but it allows us the opportunity to connect with each other.

  1. Communication 

Clear, thoughtful, and intentional communication is another element of successful collaboration in the workplace. For example, recruiters must effectively communicate with almost everyone involved in the hiring process, candidates, clients, other recruiters, and within their own company. Not only do recruiters communicate all day, but it’s through many different mediums like email, phone, face-to-face, and writing job ads or descriptions.  This can be a balancing act between authentic yet thoughtful use of words.    Taking a deep breath or a break before responding can be the most potent tool if emotions are involved.

  1. Adaptability 

As previously mentioned, working with many different people daily means that recruiters have to be able to collaborate with individuals in a variety of ways. Whether through the phone, video chats, in person, or by email. Adapting to and meeting the client/candidate where they are provides an advantage and ensures that we empower the people we interact with in the best way possible for them. Some people prefer to put everything in email, while others prefer to speak on the phone.  Honoring each other’s communication styles requires some adaptability for us all.

  1. Empowerment 

Lastly, the ability to empower those around us increases their confidence and makes people more willing to be honest and open with each other. This directly impacts how well people work together as part of a team and enhances our collaboration capabilities, even when frustrations or annoyances arise. 

Collaboration and communication as the solution 

When dealing with diverse individuals daily, there may be times when frustration and dissatisfaction can bubble to the surface and lead to uncomfortable work situations. Moving past them requires effective communication and connection with those involved when these circumstances arise. These conversations may be difficult and uncomfortable, but a calm, productive conversation helps us to manage frustrations and rectify awkward situations.

When tensions run high, it’s important to remember to assume the best out of one another. We can then create an opportunity to understand better what the other person is trying to communicate. Creating a connection with someone amidst a disagreement can help one keep a clear head and take steps to mitigate any conflicts, like taking a deep breath, asking for clarification, or working together to find a solution to the problem at hand. This doesn’t require us to be best friends, but it does allow us to honor each other.  When we respect each other, we create opportunities for more collaboration and success.

Over the years, I’ve witnessed many “missed opportunities” for collaboration or growth that instead turned into hurt feelings and resentments.  Even with our intrinsic human need to form connections with others, we are always learning, growing, and evolving; sometimes, we make mistakes. Even though that’s normal, it’s up to us to keep a level head and navigate these circumstances with compassion, empathy, respect, and an open mind. 

After all – your success is my success.  I mean that.

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