Collaboration is Core Skill in 2021 Workplace

This blog series will provide relevant insights for you to apply to your career progress as we cover several Soft Skills that you can bring awareness to while through college and into your early career to prepare for your future.

Our soft skills series will support your preparation for your contribution to your employer. After many years in corporate America in various leadership positions, I embrace the perspective that success is 20% skill and 80% perseverance. Perseverance falls under the soft skill broad category of work ethic. Unlike technical skills or “hard” skills, soft skills are not about the knowledge you possess, yet the behaviors you display in different situations. See more information from Indeed,  Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples |

2020 taught us many things, but in the lens of school and workplace, a key learning has been working together from afar. Collaborating with classmates or colleagues has never been more important as Zoom calls replaced our usual in-person teamwork. Having the skill to collaborate is one of the core soft skills that I believe will be especially helpful as you enter and advance in your career, and the experience in collaboration that was gained this past year is extremely valuable in 2021 and beyond.

Let’s look at these Collaboration skills. Collaboration is often thought of as teamwork, working effectively within teams, problem-solving or a collection of social skills. It is all of these and more.

  • Collaboration is when we work together to meet the needs of each other and our customers.
  • Successful Collaboration includes engaging and valuing others, building trust with others, and communicating effectively.
  • Collaboration Skills combine to create a way to accomplish results, solve problems, and resolve conflicting needs that satisfies all team members and your leaders.

Throughout your career, you will be working with people in diverse age groups, backgrounds and perspectives. There will be times when you work with others outside of your direct team in groups or self-directed teams on projects. Your collaboration skills and use of collaboration tools will be key to your success. Here are some specific ways you can perform collaboration skills in your career.

Collaboration Skills to Perform:

  1. Listen to really understand what another person is saying and/or wanting for mutual understanding.
  2. Resolve problems collaboratively as well as manage disputes and disagreements positively and proactively to maintain positive relationships.
  3. Use your communication skills to ask questions and provide direction and support.

Here are some suggestions to enhance your collaboration skills:

Take Action: Do some reflection on how you can leverage your collaboration skills in your personal and professional situations working with others.

Action 1: Leverage a Strength – Identify at least one action to leverage your soft skill strength.

Action 2: Strengthen an Opportunity – Identify at least one action for one soft skill to improve.


  • When was the last time you successfully collaborated?
  • Did you actively listen to your partner and understand their perspective?
  • What role did you take in the partnership?
  • How could you have better utilized your collaboration skills?
  • How do you “think win-win” and when do you not listen or see things from the other person’s point of view?

Stay Tuned! We will be covering additional soft skills in the upcoming weeks. Please check back at News ( for relevant, helpful information for your career journey.