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Real Women, Real Leaders: Surviving and Succeeding in the Business World by Priscilla Shumway, Kathleen Hurley

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6 Collaboration and Teamwork

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

—Margaret Mead

To most, it seems obvious that collaboration and teamwork are essential in the workplace. Working together seems so straightforward; however, in reality, with gender, race, culture, and many other elements coming into play, it is far from easy. This chapter explores how these Real Women have successfully used this vital competency to further their careers and increase their personal and professional successes.

Collaboration and teamwork are defined as “developing and using collaborative relationships to facilitate the accomplishment of work goals.”1 As Jesse Lyn Stoner from the Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership explains; “Collaboration is working together to create something new in support of a shared vision. The key points are that it is not through individual effort, something new is created, and that the glue is the shared vision.”

How can you recognize good team players? Generally, they know how to do the following things:

  • Seek out opportunities,
  • Clarify the current situation,
  • Develop others' and their own ideas,
  • Facilitate agreement, and
  • Use effective interpersonal skills.2

To lead while demonstrating teamwork and collaboration is a challenge for both men and women. In order to do this, four main functions and roles must be fulfilled within a team: vision, organization, relationship/team ...

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