When evaluating collaborative environments, we see that if we are able to combine the right people, with the right skills and values, and the time to build trust and communication, teams can accomplish truly incredible things.
Collaboration is a hot topic, and is hugely important to the success of so many initiatives. Yet, there is still plenty of hesitation around collaboration, so we want to address it head on.
Collaboration isn’t a yellow brick road to success. You will most certainly have to navigate some hurdles along the way. Many of us have overcome a fair share of hurdles to embrace collaboration in our own professional or creative lives.
Collaboration comes naturally to some, and naturally more challenging to others.
We each face different hurdles when it comes to mastering our own collaborative contribution. Yet, there are some difficulties that all individuals and teams regularly face when striving to cohesively work together.
Fear is pretty relevant in all areas of business but especially when it comes to collaboration. We don’t often express our fears around working together, but our actions often prove the fears to be true. Fear of collaboration is an unsubstantiated fear, but it still has a negative impact on the effectiveness of countless teams.
Many fears around teamwork and collaboration are rooted in fears that our environment won’t value our ideas, visions, and opinions.
Fears are very personal, and take personal initiative to overcome them. When you shift to embrace your fears and contribute confidently within your team, you can open up a whole new world of possibilities.
Common Fears Around Collaboration
- Fear That Someone Will Take Your Idea
- Fear That Someone Will Make Something Better Than You
- Fear That You Will Fail or Be Wrong
- Fear That You Don’t Know Enough to Contribute
- Fear that You Will Take the Blame if the Project Fails
- Fear That Our Knowledge and efforts will be less valued than others.
We can begin to welcome and empower collaboration by changing our mindset.
Our ability to work coequally within a team can be disrupted when we are so set in our own perspective, that we cannot even recognize someone else’s viewpoint in its entirety.
As humans we can easily think that we are the best, and that we know best, when in reality we may not. Which can cause us to hoard our knowledge, ideas, and skills from others.
A common misconception about collaborating is “if I collaborate or discuss their ideas with someone, the other person will steal my ideas and run off into the sunset with them!”.
While this “could” happen, it probably won’t. Because, even if someone does run with your idea, they could never bring it to life in the special way that you can.
This is why we have brand loyalty and are able to enjoy brands like Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and more all within the same “ business sphere”. Each coexisting to provide the most value and best products for their customers in their own unique ways.
Yes, they are competitors, but they each have their own audience and loyal brand supporters. This seems to be working out just fine for each of them, so don’t worry too much.
Remember nobody can do you (or your ideas), like you can.
Don’t hide yourself and hoard your knowledge from the world because that really serves no one, not even yourself.
The culture and organizational structure in which your team operates can have great impacts on its collaborative success. When a company’s culture is rooted in fear, competition, or politics then the potential for effective collaboration will be limited.
Fear based work cultures are most harmful to employees and their quality of work. This type of culture isn’t conducive to the sharing of ideas, and often leaves employees feeling alone and invaluable in many collaborative settings.
It’s been proven that when a team focuses on tackling a “common enemy” or shared challenge outside of the organization, it helps bring the team closer together and motivate them to work harder and more cohesively.
One of the biggest signs of fear based work culture is competition within the team itself.
Competition should only ever exist outside of a team. Competition within collaborative environments tears teams apart and makes accomplishing success more challenging.
Lastly and maybe most importantly, commit to recognizing contributions and celebrating successes within your team. This ensures that everyone feels valued and supported within the team, and those team members will be more likely to maintain or improve their contributions in the future with confidence.
Tips To Master Collaboration Without Hesitation
- Make a safe space for the wisdom and feedback of others.
- Embrace the uncertainty of collaboration by giving everyone permission to fail.
- There are actually no foolish Ideas. Many of the greatest ideas began as foolish ideas.
- Prioritize acceptance over agreement. Acceptance is always the best way to come to a fair and effective agreement.
- Collaboration thrives when every person involved can contribute with acceptance, clarity, and support.
- Collaborative ideas are collectively inspired, and they stem from something much greater than ourselves. Avoid becoming overly attached to your ideas when collaborating. They are not yours to keep so it’s okay to release them and see what happens.
- Recognize efforts regularly & celebrate success as often as possible.
Come work on your collaboration and networking with a community of likeminded business owners and entrepreneurs at our weekly BOSS Board Meet Ups! More Info Here.
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