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For Better Collaboration, Leave Space For People To Contribute

By March 5, 2015No Comments


There are a lot of reasons someone might not speak up in a meeting: they might feel like their idea is “not good enough”, they might be uncomfortable speaking in front of others, or they might just not want to ruin the “flow” of the meeting.

Instead of trying to figure out exactly what might be keeping your team from speaking up, leadership writer Tanveer Naseer recommends leaving intentional gaps to give people space to contribute. He writes:

 …[I]t’s critical that you demonstrate to your employees the value in leaving intentional gaps so as to encourage everyone in your team to participate and be heard. Granted, there will be problems or issues that you or others may not have considered. However, leaving these intentional white spaces in the process of collaborating will reinforce the message that answers or ideas need not come from a select group of individuals.

He adds that these intentional gaps help in other ways, too, by increasing a sense of shared ownership, and reminding partners to look at their contributions as “rough drafts.”

So the next time you’re trying to foster collaboration, remember to take a few moments to open the floor for everyone to contribute. It could help push your team or project from good to great.

You can find more tips and insights on collaboration at Naseer’s website.

How do you ensure that all of your team members’ voices are heard?

Rockwood Community Call

India Harville

disability justice consultant, public speaker, somatics practitioner, and performance artist

April 25 | 12 PT / 3 ET

India Harville, African American female with long black locs, seated in her manual wheelchair wearing a long sleeveless green dress. Her service dog, Nico, a blond Labrador Retriever, has his front paws on her lap. He is wearing a blue and yellow service dog vest. They are outside with greenery behind them.