Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Art & Artlessness of Collaboration

Signs that you & your team are collaborating successfully:

You have shared goals.
You validate your teammates’ input and they validate yours.
You are excited by the process, as well as the project.
You laugh together, often.
You welcome hearing your teammates’ contributions.
You listen with openness and curiosity.
You see positive outcomes and happy endings.
You feel respected.
You respect your teammates.
You know that if this particular idea doesn’t work, it’s likely that the next one will.
You do not take the rejection of an idea personally.
You believe in and trust the integrity of your team.
You and your team operate with openness and practice reciprocity.
You know that success grows exponentially.
You know that small successes lead to big success, and you celebrate each.
You know that the success of one reflects on the group and the entire project.
You understand that nothing is perfect, but strive for it as a team, nonetheless.
You give each other the room to make mistakes and make amends.
You look forward to the adventure.

All of the above create more of the same: good vibes, productive process, and success.

On the other hand ...

Small signs that this ‘collaborative project’ might not be working:

You already know how this is going to turn out.
You are not having fun and have no enthusiasm for the project.
You have to force yourself to smile and cooperate.
The sound of another person’s voice causes you to cringe.
You can’t wait for others to shut their yaps so you can open yours.
Your ego is getting a solid workout.
You find your teammates to be utterly boring or stupid, or both.
You anticipate being shot down … again.
You resist contributing.
Your first reaction is to belittle.
You feel diminished on a regular basis.
You’re fairly certain that ‘they’ are out to get you.
You know that the project would be an utter failure if you weren’t there to rescue it.
You know that the best way to get things done is your way.
The most important thing is that you get credit for your brilliant ideas.
Your contributions are regularly sabotaged.
You find yourself dwelling deliciously on thoughts of revenge.
You’re unwilling to confront out of fear of retaliation.
Others take credit for your ideas.
You’re unwilling to stick your neck into the noose..
You believe that there is no hope.
You want to tell them all to ‘stick it’.

There may be more, but this seems a good start. 

My advice: analyze the situation to discern if it is a salvageable and bring the issue up to the group to see if others want to do the work.

Alternately, run for the freedom of the hills.

Holding Back The Inevitable 
©2010 Lora R Fisher


  1. I love collaborating! You are so right on all counts. I also think collaborating can be hard because some are more passionate about the project then others. :)

  2. Thank you, Erika. I'm involved in the pleasures and challenges of collaboration on a project the will push all of us into magnificent growth. It's thrilling, scary, and exhilarating to to look ahead to successful outcomes.
    I appreciate your comments. Thanks, so much.