Collaboration is the bringing together of individuals/teams/groups to undertake and complete a project or task based on shared interests or a common goal. Although leadership is important in terms of guiding the finished outcome of the collaborative goal usually collaboration should ensure equal and mutual benefit to all those involved. It is powerful but unfortunately sometimes it is misconstrued and misunderstood. If it is not use effectively executed it can lead to a break down of relationships and can sometimes be seen as a way of climbing on top of others. The intention of every collaboration should be clear from that beginning, ensuring that everybody involved sees their vision come to fruition. Unfortunately collaboration becomes competition when it should be about recognising each others core strengths. Before moving forward with a collaboration ask yourself a few questions:
What is the purpose? Really take the time to consider the overall goal of collaborative effort before agreeing to take part.
Do you have shared values? It really helps to have a common purpose and shared values – you may not always agree but at least you will work together for the greater good of the project.
Is there clear communication? Make sure that communications channels are clear and direct, if there are ever any moments of confusion or misunderstanding ensure that they are addressed immediately before resentment works its way in.
What is your intention? Be clear about the role you have to play and why you are taking part. If you are secure about your intention then it means that collaboration can flow more authentically.
In the video above I focus on the power of collaboration and why effective communication, transparency and honesty are essential when pursuing collaborative relationships.