Collaboration, one of the critical 8 C’s, is key to your success.
Nobody can do it all on their own, not even you superwoman (or superman) – even though we like to kid ourselves we can. Finding your sweet spot strengths & sharing them is magic. Finding what makes you inwardly groan & outwardly shudder & asking for help with those is just plain smart. Put those two things together & you’ve got the secret sauce for collaboration.
But how do you know if you’ve got the chops to collaborate? How do you seek collaboration?
Start with this simple test.
Open your hand as far as you can. Wider. Wider. Even wider.
Now try to imagine holding onto a project, a commitment, or a colleague or friend. Things would slide off which, in the world of collaboration, means you wouldn’t have enough ownership or passion.
Some of the signs your hand may be too wide open are if you hear yourself saying things like:
‘Nah, you do it, I don’t care.’
‘Do whatever you want, it doesn’t matter to me.’
Now close your fist as tight as you can. Tighter. Tighter. Even tighter.
This is what happens if you hold onto things too hard – you hurt yourself (can you see those nail marks?!). It also makes collaboration impossible.
Some of the signs your hand may be too closed are if you hear yourself saying things like (you may say theses things to yourself only but you’re saying them nonetheless):
‘If I give this to you to do you’re going to screw it up.’
‘But ____ (insert name of pet project, idea etc.) is my baby. No one can do it like I can.’
So what’s a good collaborator to do?
The key is to open your hand enough to invite collaboration in but not so open as to have no ownership or passion.
The next time you’re seeking collaboration, look at the position of your (metaphorical) hand & open or close it some as needed.
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As you navigate through the rest of your life, be open to collaboration. Other people and other people’s ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.
— Amy Poehler