How to be a Better Collaborator

By: Carley Varley

Working with others is a key skill in life and collaborating on projects, songs and pieces of work can be very rewarding.

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Learning how to be a better collaborator is something that I have challenged myself with in the recent months, I am learning to trust others with my music and work with people to make my songs even better.

Collaborating means that you are a team and that communicating with this team is vital to the project you are working on. I am going to write today about how to become a better collaborator, so here are some tips to help you today.

1. Learning the Secret Power of Listening

Being a better collaborator starts with listening. If others in your team are giving their ideas or making suggestions, the best thing that you can do is listen. You may even learn something new or the project may take a better direction because you listened to a member of your team.

I am currently working with a new producer and we both listened to eachothers ideas, because of this the song is even better and more like how I imagined it. Listening to others also shows a lot of respect and will give others room to properly communicate with you.

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2. Why Communication is so Important

Communication is key, this is a very popular saying and for good reason. Being able to communicate clearly is an important part of being a better collaborator. Make sure you set clear goals, hone in your tasks and make sure that those you work with know the plan of action.

When I work on a song, I make sure I’m clear with how I want a track to sound, the instruments I want on the track and when I’d like to finish the song. I will also communicate if I don’t like the sound of something on the song and make sure that I speak up straight away to avoid any confrontation or changes later on. Make sure you set clear goals and strategies and this will make you a better collaborator and will make communication a lot easier too.

3. Take Responsibility for Failures

If you do something wrong or mess up, own up and take responsibility. The best people in life are the ones who apologise with no issue, who hold no grudges and own their failures. If you are collaborating with someone and you miss a deadline, or fail to do a task, make sure you own up to this, that way the issue can be sorted head on.

You will be more respected if you take responsibility than if you don’t. A vital part of collaboration is making sure that the team works well together, so taking responsibility for failures when you need to will aid this. 

4. Learn how to truly save time for everyone

Whether you are heading up the project or helping on the project, time management makes sure that everything runs smoothly and is a very good way to make sure your collaboration goes well. I was recording this month and I’ve set a goal to finish the track by July, this means I have set aside time to write, communicate with my producer and the dates in the diary to record. Time management will make sure everything goes according to plan so make sure you manage your time well. Set aside time to complete your tasks and check in on others.

Thank you all so much for reading today, I hope these tips help you in your industry. Being a better collaborator is so important in today’s world so keep up the good work and I hope your collaborations go well. 

By: Carley Varley

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