Greetings from my friend Dr. Bob,
What does it take to be a good collaborator?
In its simplest form collaboration means to "work together." The actual definition of the word is, "work together, especially in an intellectual effort." I understand that to mean agreement in our thinking about the best plan of action. Real collaboration occurs in the planning stage of any project. Fail to collaborate there and the rest of the project is in jeopardy.
Energy Performance Tip: My experience has been that the real problem of collaboration is the result of not establishing agreement, by all involved, at the outset of a project. As a result there are different perceptions of how to accomplish a project. When there are different perceptions people find it easy to complain about team members not working together. I'm sure we could make quite a long list of energy draining activities that occur when teams fail to collaborate. The point is - what needs to be done about it. Here are a couple of suggestions.
1) Get the team together as soon as possible and find out what each person believes about the project and get on the same page. This takes time, but not as much as complaining about "what's not happening."
2) Ask a lot of questions to find out what people believe the plan is and, if adjustments need to be made, get a clear agreement by everyone on those.
3) Take personal responsibility for your actions and commitment to the plan. Don't waste a lot of energy blaming others - "I'm right and he's wrong" is a worthless use of energy.
4) If necessary agree to disagree on details but end the meeting with a clear understanding of the plan.
5) Avoid giving up on people. People do things for their own reasons, not mine or yours.
"Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible."
- George Claude Lorimer
"It's a pity to shoot the pianist when the piano is out of tune."
- Rene Coty
"Success is simple. Do what's right, the right way, at the right time."
- Arnold Glasow
The best to all of you this week.