4 Things You Must Know When Working in a Cross-Functional Team

4 Things You Must Know When Working in a Cross-Functional Team

New Delhi: Working cross-functionally i.e. working with different teams than your own is an inevitable part of your career at some point or another. And doing it well can generate new, exciting and innovative ideas, improve your interpersonal skills, and will boost your company culture, happiness, productivity and team spirit.
However, dealing with another team is never like a walk in the park. Any new group of people will come with a different array of personalities, distinct ways of communicating, diverse competing priorities, and more.

Here are four critical things to consider when working with Cross-functional team:

1.Be proactive 
You can never work well with people you don’t know but you’d be surprised how many people remain unaware of this simple fact. So, be proactive in meeting new people other than your team members before you have to work together on a explicit project. Go and have some coffee or lunch with them. You can also approach them at your next happy hour to learn more about their role and responsibilities. And once you’re paired off, don’t just directly jump into business. Ask your teammates about what they're aiming to get out of this project, their preferences for communication, and also about their passions. Getting other people’s perspectives and leveraging their unique talents can be immensely beneficial, so be sure you have all the information before delegating work.

2.Understand others priorities
It’s vital to keep your project’s objectives and deadlines in mind, but also comprehend that your project is just one and many of your co-workers might be working on. So, before initiating, gather insight into how others are budgeting their time to quickly understand their expectations and best organize your schedule. Also, get a well-rounded perspective on project’s relative importance by asking your teammates what outcomes they’re looking for. These responses can be helpful in understanding how to prioritize your role and responsibilities.

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Finally, know that this always goes both ways i.e. make it clear to your team members that what things you’re working on and at what times you'll remain unavailable.

3.Emphasize good communication
Invest your time and energy in good communication—in person, over email and during meetings. Go into meetings with  clear agenda, use your company updates to share your progress with stakeholders and set up weekly check-ins also ask everyone to share their progress with their managers. This ensures your leadership is on board, you are following the right protocol, and you are making people accountable. This also implies setting clear expectations and roles from the starting, encouraging cross-collaboration and functionalities, and also acknowledging when others do good work. All of this contribute to a motivated and happy team.

4. Be prepare to face sticky situations

The reality of any team project is that there may be times when teammates disagree, don’t get along, or aren’t pulling their weight. Knowing how to mediate and influence a conversation will help you work with others to create and make everyone agree on a best suitable strategy . This doesn’t mean forcing people to take on your ideas and opinions but rather helping them in directing their thinking to the bigger picture of how can we all compromise to move forward?  This reflects you respect their opinions and want their utmost trust and collaboration.

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Working with a different team can be one of the hardest endeavors you take on, but when you get everyone pushing toward a common goal and objective, it’s incredibly delightful. When you find yourself in a sticky situation, focus on what’s ideal for the company. This will help you to be more strategic and you'll act like a leader. Since your schooling, you have many years of working with people across different groups, so learn and grow from each experience. Focusing on these tips will help you become a master of partnerships in no time!

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