Collaboration is clearly helping business owners, entrepreneurs and innovators thrive, but can it also help children? We’ve investigated why your child should develop collaboration as a soft skill, what steps you can take to help them learn, and how you can continue to grow their skills.

Collaboration in an Increasingly Connected World

From a young age, children interact with other kids and adults who come from many walks of life. Through technology, children today have the whole world at their fingertips, and they need to know what to do with it.

Collaboration helps children to discover each other’s strengths, interests and capabilities. Instead of limiting learning from a teacher or an adult, they can learn from each other. As a result, each child can develop a unique set of skills and knowledge in a fun and efficient way.

Collaboration skills can increase your child’s understanding of how others view the world. By developing new perspectives and learning to appreciate differences of opinions, your child can grow to appreciate harmony, and be at the forefront of a more civilized world.

5 Tips To Develop Collaboration Soft Skills

For any parent that wants the best for their children, collaboration is an important soft skill to teach them. In order to develop your child’s collaboration soft skills, follow these five tips:

1. Participate In Group Activities

Getting a child to cooperate with others can often be a challenge, but it is important for your child to develop this skill. Peer interaction and collaboration starts early in life and helping your child understand the value of working well with others is key to encouraging his or her cooperation during group activities.

2. Include Your Child in Your Daily Routine

Include your child while you are running errands to teach about collaboration. When you are out, point out what’s happening, who the people are, and what they’re doing.

For example, if you are at a grocery store, point out what the stock person is doing as she places items on the shelves. Children at this age notice everything, and you can take advantage of this by pointing out the roles that people play, and how they have to work together toward collective goals. In doing so, you are showing teamwork in action.

3. Initiate Play Dates

One of the best ways to foster group work and collaboration is to encourage play and organize play dates with several friends. Your child may be great at playing with one friend, but it takes new skills when there is more than one friend included. The more your child interacts with multiple friends, the more he or she will be able to discuss solutions and work in groups.

4. Encourage Good Sportsmanship

Encourage good sportsmanship. As your child gets older and begins to engage in more sports, the concept of competition emerges. Remind your child that winning or losing does not define his success and that he should not forget to be caring and kind in all his interactions in life, including competitions. Teach your child to shake the hands of the opposing team members after a game, regardless of its outcome, and to be a gracious winner and loser.

5. Collaborate With Other Parents

Finally, share your ideas with other parents, but also listen to the input of others. Recognize when someone else has a stronger idea than your own and support it, being sure to give credit where credit is due. Leading by example will go a long way towards building collaboration skills for your child.

Advancing Future Education and Career Prospects

Employers and higher education institutes today are in search of people with unique ideas and soft skills. The skills in demand include leadership, communication, negotiation, teamwork, interpersonal skills, social skills, and cultural competence, but someone who works alone can’t develop these skills.

Collaboration and interacting with the people are the way to build soft skills that educators and employers are looking for. By learning to work together from a young age, children can get a head start in achieving their education and career aspirations.

Those people skills can be invaluable where workplace collaboration is an increasingly pivotal part of the job for many creative professionals. Workplace collaboration is multifaceted and includes a range of abilities, such as clear communication, problem-solving, empathy and accountability. By developing your child’s soft skills early, you can help prepare them for their future education and career.