Sayings like “Two Heads are Better Than One…” or “It Takes a Village…” suggest to us that collaboration helps us to maximize potential in whatever it is we are doing, even on-campus recruitment and career education. So, how do we grow our comfort and fluency in this area? How do we leverage collaboration to make our programming better? Here are four strategies to consider:
Got a question? Thinking about trying something new? Working through a snag or issue? Your colleagues may be able to help. Whether it is on the CACEE LinkedIN Group, over e-mail, scheduling a Google Hang Out /coffee chat, or simply picking up the phone... reach out and talk it through with a fellow CACEE member! This kind of connection can be a vehicle to share best practices, gain perspective, put you on to a new resource, or might be just the ticket to work through common pain points. It’s great to know that as a CACEE member, there is a network of expertise that you can leverage at any point throughout the year. Not just at the National Conference! Who will you call in to help?
Sometimes the best approach is to just “ask them!”. Bringing together a focus group or cross section of your stakeholders can be a great way to gain insight to augment, refine, or change the focus of your engagement on campus. There are multiple ways to do this: surveys, web chats, in-person meetings, teleconferences, or any combination of the above. The trick here is to get very specific about what your goals are, what questions you may need to ask to get to achieve your goals, and who needs to be at the table. Remember to be inclusive by design – research tells us that diversity of thought, perspective, and lived experience will enable a much richer result from your consultation process.
You don’t need to be an island on to yourself. Invite others to join you. Partnering can broaden the reach and impact of your events and programming for students. For example:
Do you wish your team members, key Career Centres/Employer partners, or other business units were more collaborative – then show them how it’s done! Modelling can be incredibly powerful and helps to create a conducive environment for connection, networking, and partnership. Sometimes, in order to get others on-board, you need to first foster a spirit of collaboration. Sharing success stories, demonstrating the power of coming together, or simply hosting a meeting where you are talking about how to best work together can go a long way to putting the structures into place in which collaborative efforts can thrive!