Do You Enjoy Collaboration?

May 31, 2022

Now I am pretty much the queen of collaboration. I have begun collaborations, I have completed collaborations, I have been successful at collaborations, I've failed at collaborations, I have done an awful lot of collaborations!

For someone who runs their own business, I collaborate with other people a lot. And there's a lot of reasons for that. Mainly it’s because I have so much fun! I really enjoy it, and find my level of satisfaction increases if I'm working with someone else. So I always like to have a few projects on the go where I'm collaborating with other people.

My first rule of collaboration is that the collaboration must be equal - if you are contributing significantly more to a collaboration than somebody else, then very often, that collaboration by definition is going to fail. One party will benefit more than the other, and that creates negative energy.

My second rule is to clearly communicate the terms and boundaries of the collaboration.  Even though a person has agreed to collaborate, they don't always understand the term in the same way as you do.

So it's really, really super important when you're going to collaborate with someone to have a conversation with them about exactly what they mean by collaboration. What does that look like? What does that mean?  What would you like to achieve together? What would you like to do independently, what you still want to do yourself?

So it's so important to be able to go through and check out where your values are and the values of the other person you're planning to collaborate with. Because more often than not, the reasons why collaborations don't work are due to a mismatch of values. So you might value one thing more than the other party does, or vice versa. So even if you go into a collaboration with good intentions, like desiring to do the right thing, if your values are not aligned, and if you're not actually seeing that you're in some way complementary, then very soon, there becomes no point to actually doing that collaboration.

As with any skill - collaboration is the kind of kind of activity that some people do better than others. And you have to be collaborative person in order for a collaboration to work. So you'll know if you're a collaborative person - you seek advice from other people, you get a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment out of projects that involve other people.  So from there, you need to check that your values are aligned and then clarify what is it that you want to deliver. What do you want to give to the collaboration? And what do you want to get out of the collaboration? And you have to ask the other party the same question, what do they plan on giving? And what do they want to get? If you've been through all those kinds of questions and your values are aligned, then probably the project that you're going to work on will be beautifully done

And anyone who knows me, knows that in my life I now have a great list of people who I work regularly with, that are collaborative people that we've done successful collaborations with before. And they're the ones that I tend to look to first before going further afield to check out if other people are also wanting to collaborate.

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