Years ago, I was asked to collaborate for an event with other fellow entrepreneurs. We had a wellness idea and we met more than once to discuss how we would market the event, share responsibilities, and communicate our concerns or if we needed more help. I completed the marketing for the event and too many other practitioners didn’t fulfill their responsibilities. I did my best two weeks outside of our event to complete their tasks since they said were “overwhelmed” and had done nothing! The event in my mind should have been cancelled but I was told by a mentor to not quit.
Guess what? No one showed for the event after all of the marketing I completed and after I had picked up the “newly acquired” duties. I spent money on the event and lost money on the event. I vowed NEVER AGAIN!
Collaboration is done often in business as a highly recommended tool to acquire more clients or sales. However, collaboration is messy.
In order to collaborate effectively there needs to be a level of mutual, common, or joint effort, communication, and desire.
Many times collaboration isn’t an equal pairing of share responsibilities and communication. Although, many professionals, board members, and teammates will tell me they think it is. Hence, a teachable moment is about to come to fruition. Do you have the mindset, the skills, and the temperament to handle when there is difference or a crisis?
You are not alone most of us don’t and if we do we may still avoid the conflict- hoping somebody will figure it out.
Here are the keys to collaborate effectively with any professional, board member, or teammate.
1) A great idea creates spark! Hopefully, this spark will allow for desire to spread to everyone involved and mutual consideration will follow. Please note mutual doesn’t mean equal. It just means there is common interest.
2) Evaluate an idea or ideas against an objective measure. Let’s say there is an event or project that could be completed, is a seasonal idea? How quickly could it be “pulled together”? How much money is estimated? How much time has been considered? Resources? Has anyone done this before? If so does anyone know if it worked? If there are too many “ifs or concerns” the idea may be tabled or redesigned. However, if there are too many “yes people” at the table then it may continue when the red flags are already waving.
3) Action or implementation of idea. This is often where most collaboration can fail because it puts everyone’s communication skills to the test. If you like to brainstorm before implementation and you are asking for opinions and your collaborator may have no patience and could simply ask you “to just do it.” This can create some resentment, failed implementation, and overall doubt. This is never fun and choosing to rise to the occasion is not always an ideal scenario. Think Reality TV when chefs are yelling at other chefs.
4) Lastly, how is success being measured? If it’s a nonprofit event what are the goals? If it’s a team project was the outcome achieved? If it’s a sales event how many units were sold?
This seems like a fairly straightforward “adulting” formula for collaboration. Here is what I have learned about the secret sauce to effective collaboration: Temperament, Motivation, Ability, Resources & Decision-Making.
Do you and your fellow collaborators have similar temperaments when it comes to their desire, communication skills, and self-awareness? Are they motivated? Do they have the right abilities? What are their resources? Do they use them or do they expect you to use yours? How does sound and solid does their decision-making seem to you?
I coach women daily on how to not just get along but how to find their strengths, use their talents and gifts so they don’t feel like servants or pawns or just plain misunderstood at work.
If you would like a free 30-minute consultation please feel free to connect with me at http://jeanniedougherty.com/contact/.