Human Collaboration Vs. Collaborative Intelligence In The Workplace

Human Collaboration Vs. Collaborative Intelligence In The Workplace

How Can Collaborative Intelligence Improve Team Work?

Collaboration is more challenging than ever with hybrid and remote work increasing, more complex workflows, and new technologies being introduced. However, data shows that employees spend 50% more time collaborating with their colleagues than ten years ago. The same research found that only 3% to 5% of a company’s workforce is doing most of the collaborative work, which can cause burnout and push those employees to quit their jobs. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play since machines can help people understand complex concepts and analyze millions of data in a few minutes. However, organizations must identify how humans can utilize machines to best support their activities. Read this article to explore the principles of collaborative intelligence in the workplace and how to utilize it.

The Main Principles Of Human Collaboration In The Workplace

Teams Need Connection

Many people think that great minds need to work independently to innovate. However, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. Anyone can be blinded by their own biases and misconceptions when working independently. Teamwork assists the exchange of ideas and information and results in better decisions. But throwing a group of people on the same team without serious consideration or effort isn’t productive. Leaders must foster trust within the team so everyone feels free to express themselves and take risks. Also, all team members should be committed to the same goal and respect one another. This way, when their final goal is reached, they share a sense of pride that further deepens their bond.

Collaboration Should Be Crafted Carefully

Back in the day, team members would gather around a conference table and share their ideas. Nowadays, collaboration in the workplace has expanded beyond strict office functions and can be done remotely through video conferencing. Organizations must carefully design collaborative experiences for employees to elevate their work and build innovative concepts. For example, leaders should highlight each employee’s strengths and set clear expectations regarding their performance. Additionally, everyone must feel like part of a community where they are free to communicate honestly and creatively. But none of that matters if leaders don’t show a collaborative spirit. They should lead by example and share their own insights and knowledge with the team to prompt everyone to act similarly.

People Must Know How To Build Trust

If leaders want to foster a cohesive and collaborative working environment, they must help foster trusting relationships among colleagues. To do that, everyone should feel free to share thoughts and ideas regarding work-related matters and, possibly, personal information. However, oversharing must be avoided so as not to make anyone feel uncomfortable. Additionally, depending on the type of information they need to share, employees must use the appropriate medium. For example, a more personal revelation can be communicated through direct messages or one-on-one video calls. On the other hand, a strictly professional conversation can be carried out via email.

Leaders Must Understand Team Dynamics

Team success relies heavily on project leaders and how well they understand team dynamics. No team can succeed without dependability, meaning that all employees can count on each other. Through collaborative intelligence in the workplace, leaders clearly state the common goals and how each member contributes to them. Additionally, leading figures need to know each team member and understand what motivates and energizes them. They may also have certain differences that everyone should respect. A team that knows and respects its diversity can decrease friction while working together toward common goals.

Hubs, Bridges, And Networkers

These three categories of people can be found on any team. Hubs are typically colleagues with whom everyone talks. Maybe they are highly social individuals who like getting to know everyone. A bridge is someone who connects two or more people who don’t necessarily communicate often. For example, two professionals may need to collaborate on a specific project but have never worked together. Tensions and misunderstandings may arise, so a bridge ensures smooth cooperation. Lastly, a networker is typically a leader or a manager who organizes the team and knows a little bit about everyone and their individual needs. They may also team up colleagues, depending on the help each one requires for a certain project.

How Can Collaborative Intelligence Be Utilized In The Workplace?

Humans Must Train Machines

Machines can be trained a lot quicker than humans. Detailed information and directions must be inserted in their algorithms so they know which actions they must perform and in what way. AI software needs to be taught how to interact with humans while maintaining certain behaviors. For example, some of the most famous AI assistants have been taught to be empathetic, compassionate, helpful, and confident without being bossy. To make such additions and improvements, humans must collaborate to design the proper technology and instill the desired emotions in the AI software. As a result, machines and humans can find a way to communicate and collaborate effectively.

Humans Must Explain The Outcomes

Collaborative intelligence is utilized in many sectors, such as medicine, law, banking, and law enforcement. It is tasked with giving answers and drawing conclusions on complicated and crucial matters. Humans are then called to interpret and explain the machines’ findings to colleagues who don’t have the same expertise. For example, law enforcement may ask their AI assistant why an automatic car was involved in an accident. The machine’s findings may be too complicated for everyone to understand. That’s why an AI expert must interfere to paraphrase them in simple and understandable terms and communicate them to the rest of the team.

Humans Must Sustain The AI Technology

People are not only collaborating with AI but also responsibly maintaining its functionality and safety. Safety engineers are usually hired to stay close to AI tools and ensure that they are doing their job correctly without harming humans. For example, they must ensure that medical robots recognize humans in the operating room and don’t endanger them. Additionally, AI must adhere to strict ethical rules. For instance, when banks use machines for credit approvals, they must ensure they don’t discriminate against certain groups of people. The data that is fed to AIs must follow guidelines and regulations. This way, they can assist humans in making quicker and safer decisions.


Collaborative intelligence in the workplace isn’t a magic pill that solves all communication problems. Leaders must first ensure exemplary human collaboration and then enforce the assistance of AI. Workforces must trust each other and their expertise. It’s the only way they’ll believe someone’s explanation of AI findings without a doubt. Also, without an already friendly working environment, machines won’t receive the appropriate instructions regarding empathetic and responsible communication. We hope this article has helped you understand how to utilize collaborative intelligence in the workplace and the benefits it can bring.