The teams where individual people are from different backgrounds comprise to make a multidisciplinary team. The multidisciplinary team brings different perspectives to a project and a project can be viewed from multidimensional angles. This makes it possible to get a broader view of the project and an opportunity to have an awareness of the work of different fields that exist.
Some of the most immediate benefits of a multidisciplinary team are:
- Having more awareness and knowledge.
If the teams are comprised of people from different fields, it allows them to share knowledge of their respective fields, giving a continuous opportunity for personal growth and having wide awareness of the happenings around the world. The individuals bring a unique lens to the problems to be solved and combining individual perspectives helps to achieve all-inclusive outcomes.
- Empathic collaboration
Combining people from different backgrounds demand an enhanced collaboration to have efficiency in working. As people are from different backgrounds, it takes more conscious effort to make sure everyone is on the same page and can communicate well
- A faster way to progress
Exchanging the knowledge among different disciplines will lead to a better all-round understanding of the subject and building on each other’s ideas will improve the overall outcome.
- Group thinking
The multidisciplinary team encourages group thinking and makes it possible for people to contribute to the project in different ways.
Despite the advantages, there are some challenges that we might face because of having a multidisciplinary team. Here are a few ways which we can keep in mind to overcome the challenges of having a multidisciplinary team:
- Appreciating different points of view
In a group, it is very essential to be able to appreciate a different points of view and be a good listener for the people who are from different fields. It shows a welcoming gesture and makes others feel comfortable in a mixed set-up. It is important to understand that people might have a different set of goals /expectations from the project and it is okay.
- Having an open mind
Having an open mind makes it easier for us to embrace new possibilities and expect new things that we might have not experienced before. If we are too fixated on our ways of working we might not learn anything new from the multidisciplinary setup. It is always good to have an open mind to be able to welcome surprises.
- Value other people’s time
It is important that we mutually value and respect each other’s time. We must understand that all team members have other commitments and priorities too so we should be very careful of making efficient use of time
- Leaving out Buzzwords
To maintain an inclusive environment and let other people contribute, we must use a common language and simplify the branch or profession specific terms which will make the process more inclusive for the participants from different backgrounds.
Is your team multidisciplinary? What are the ways you use for effective collaboration?