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Do you train for collaboration skills?

The finance department is asked to collaborate or partner more and more with other departments in the hunt for contributing more value to the company. However, are you training these soft skills and if so how do you do it?


Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

Nothing can beat leading by example and real life experience, but I have in the past used some of the soft skill training. Things like listening, teamwork, etc. Typical stuff. There are some cool Covey based training sessions.

John P. Martin
Title: Analyst - Finance
Company: Own
(Analyst - Finance, Own) |

I’m not sure if you can “train” to develop those soft skills. But managers can work with staff members, encourage and support them to work with other departments/cost center staff, managers and senior staff to collaborate and build business partnerships. When I arrived at my last employer as a member of the finance staff, in order to be successful in my job, I worked hard to reach out and develop partnerships with the Sales, Marketing, Operations and Legal Teams (very much silos) to build their trust and confidence in my experience and abilities. Over time, I was successful.

John P. Martin

Bob Dupree
Title: IT Global Senior Project Manager/PMO
Company: Tronox
(IT Global Senior Project Manager/PMO, Tronox) |

I agree John, I personally don't think you can train to collaborate, however, if you have poor collaboration skills you can be coached to be a better collaborator. All in all if you can't collaborate across business lines you will not be successful. Life in and out of work is about people and the ability to talk but more important the ability to be a good listener.


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