Collaboration is essential in almost all aspects of life and work and nearly every imaginable job in business today entails at least some joint effort by members of a team to work together collaboratively. This makes cooperation an essential skill in most sectors of the work world.

The definition of the word ‘collaboration’ refers to the action of working with someone else in order to create something or produce something. Collaboration skills enable workers to interface productively with other colleagues. Successful collaboration requires a cooperative spirit and mutual respect. Employers typically seek employees who function effectively as part of a team and are willing to balance personal achievement with group goals.

In some cases, teams that collaborate are members of the same department working on an ongoing activity that requires coordination. In other cases, interdepartmental teams are assembled to form cross-functional teams that are tasked with completing special projects within a prescribed period of time.

Collaboration can also occur between many different types of partners including between bosses and subordinates. Even different companies can collaborate at times. In that case, collaboration does not always take place between members of the same company.

Service providers can collaborate with clients to achieve goals, and vendors can cooperate with customers to produce products or services. Collaboration can also take place between individuals outside one’s realm of employment including business partners, customers, clients, contractors, volunteers, and suppliers.