3 Key Tips for Collaboration and Teamwork during LaunchX
By Caroline Gong | 2022 Marketing Intern
June 24, 2022
The 2022 LaunchX summer program kicked off the first week of classes. Teams have been hard at work progressing through their entrepreneurial journey. We interviewed several teams who demonstrated strong teamwork in their initial pitch videos to give us their key tips and suggestions on collaboration and productivity. Even though these teams spanned across different time zones and a variety of countries, three major trends appeared in their responses.
#1 – Awkwardness during Collaboration
Team 10’s Isaac Van Voorhis states, “Don’t be scared to just start talking with your group because it’s only awkward if you make it awkward.”
Meeting a new set of people is daunting, but these first encounters are also the most formative in shaping a team’s dynamics and direction. In order to set foot on the right path, ask each other questions. For almost all of the interviewed teams, they did not do icebreakers. Instead, they popcorned each other questions about to discover any notable similarities or differences.
Furthermore, talk about your startup. All of the interviewed Launchies mentioned that they began talking about potential business ideas in their first meeting and planned for future gatherings. For example, Smriti Rangarajan and her group, Team 10, created a Discord channel. Rohan Sampath and Team 3 started a group chat for easy access. Especially at the beginning, everyone is excited and cannot wait to get started, so take advantage of that momentum.
#2 – Tackling Disagreements in Collaboration
Disagreements are bound to happen in team settings. But how can a team ensure that a disagreement does not evolve into a conflict?
The answer to this question is two-fold. Many of the interviewees emphasized the importance of speaking from the “I” perspective. This strategy allows for a starting point; understanding where everyone is coming from will help the entire team pinpoint any miscommunication or discrepancy. However, understanding requires another skill: listening. The second factor the Launchies’ brought up is empathy. When someone else is speaking, focus on them and make an effort to see the situation from their position. Empathy allows everyone in the space to be heard, and when all team members feel they are included, any tension or stress in the air will dissolve.
#3 – Large Quantity, Best Quality for Collaboration
Assuming that your team has settled on a business idea, the hardest part is figuring out how to get tasks done.
First, it is important to have the mindset; one of LaunchX’s key messages is to have an action bias. Amelia Joseph from Team 36 explains this lesson and takes it to the next level: “Prioritize tasks and set internal deadlines for yourself, so you’re ready before the final due date. Also, don’t be afraid to… (raise) the bar of the team without lowering your standards.” Treating your teammates seriously and with respect will establish a good working environment and boost motivation.
Second, reflect whenever the team meets. Reflect on shared goals, the progress of the business, and how each team member is doing physically and mentally. Not only is it important to have your team answer critical questions about your business, but it is also crucial to see how everyone is doing and meet each other in the middle. While some of our Launchies call every day and others only on the weekends, the frequency of a team’s meetings does not change the fact that in every meeting, reflection should be the #1 thing your team does.
Teamwork and Collaboration Conclusion
Often, teamwork and collaboration can be mis-represented. Many people prefer to do it themselves. However, independence may simply not be viable in some situations (e.g. starting a company), so in those situations, it is best to remember these three lessons: determine shared interests and goals, be transparent and empathetic, and communicate and reflect with your team.