In my last BLOG I wrote about what makes collaboration work with Your Keys to Collaborate Effectively. I have met many working professionals, business owners, and executives that struggle with a difficult business collaboration.

What often draws you to another individual can also be the reason to repel you. Some folks are extremely charismatic and full of energy. They may be what I call the shiny object in the room with lots of sparkle. With time you may learn they have little to no substance. They may seem incredibly generous with a face-to-face conversation and just can’t seem to keep an appointment with you unless it’s late at night or the weekends.

I too have received 3 am FB messages from an amazing business professional to realize that when they do think of our collaboration its late at night and in a hurried manner of “Sorry its so late but…”

When one desires for collaboration one often thinks their fellow co-collaborator is just like them when it comes to temperament, motivation, ability, resources, and decision making – the reality that is rarely the case.

What to look for in terms of temperament?

  1. Accountability
  2. Flexibility
  3. Knowledge Based or SME- Subject Matter Expertise
  4. Excellent Communication Skills
  5. Good Conflict Management Skills

No one has to be a 10 in all of these areas but it’s good to know if you are collaborating with a yes person that may ask a critical question only if they feel comfortable.

Motivation and Ability are at the crux in determining how your collaboration is going? Sometimes, it’s the only way to see if you can remain in the collaboration or just simply move forward.

What to know about the difference between Motivation and Ability?

Remember the charismatic shiny object person I mentioned earlier that may have high ability but low motivation to work with you. Except, you aren’t entirely sure or you think it’s best in business to always extend yourself to them. The easiest way to understand the difference: motivation CANNOT overcome ANY lack of ability.

Did you ever consider what kinds of resources you have and are willing to share with your collaborator? Did you ever think about their resources and what they are willing to share? Resources can be tools, contacts, cash, and role functions.

***Role functions are important resource particularly if the collaboration is an event like a play, fund-raiser, or a communications event- radio show, TV program. How many times someone has been a host, or played a role in a play can be an important asset to the team and their knowledge is resource material. ***

Collaborative decision-making often requires excellent communication skills and good conflict management skills.

Here is what usually prevents effective decisions to be made:

  1. Too little information
  2. Too much information
  3. People-Pleasing
  4. Emotional attachments
  5. No emotional attachments

Here are some strategies for effective decision-making:

  1. Create some brain-storming session(s) around road blocks or barriers
  2. Set-up a time scale
  3. Allow for some folks to make a decision and not having to wait for consensus
  4. Weigh and determine Risks
  5. Be clear on goal or purpose or values of collaboration at the beginning and reflect on these throughout the collaboration

The secret-sauce to collaboration often requires consistent communication, well-defined responsibilities, and allowing for the unknown.