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The Power of Collaboration

Tuesday, July 21, 2020 8:33 AM | Jan Szmanda

By: Nancy Kalsow

Collaboration has become so ingrained in the way people work nowadays that we rarely even notice when we are doing it. Case in point: after leaving the corporate world, many solopreneurs feel lonely and isolated. Myself included. There is no one to collaborate with. I miss walking to the next cubicle and asking a co-worker for a certain word I was searching for (ya know, that one that means working together to achieve a better outcome!) or convening in the board room to determine how we were going to finish a project on time and within budget when neither seemed possible.  

How ironic that when something is widely available, we don’t realize how much we need it (i.e. toilet paper, hand sanitizer). In the workplace, I remember the pushback from co-workers, teams, and managers about the meetings that were meant to leverage our combined knowledge, skills, and resources. “There’s not enough time” or “All we do is have meetings”.  Certainly, there are some meetings that are not collaborative or may be a waste of time. Let’s explore the power of collaboration when done well.  Collaboration involves: 

  • Engagement – Participating in something bigger than yourself with a pinch of competition
  • Vulnerability – Learning through curiosity and not “knowing” 
  • Fun – Creatively playing with the ideas, people, and the process
  • Trust – The combined “parts” will be better than the whole 
  • Efficiency – Getting better results in a shorter amount of time
  • Innovation – New or enhanced ideas/results

Collaboration is a critical component to today’s competitive advantage. It is people, along with their ideas, talents, and ability to implement their combined learning and knowledge that are the differentiating factor between success or failure. In fact, organizations that collaborate well are likely to be more financially successful, more culturally aligned, and have higher engagement rates. And isn’t that what every business is striving for?  

I really didn’t think I’d miss having a team to collaborate with.  After all, I am a driven, independent, and productive employee. It took me several months to realize something was amiss. I had plenty to do and became obsessed with the tasks at hand. The list kept getting longer, the days felt shorter, and my creativity, clarity, and confidence began to waver. Has this every happened to you?  Perhaps lack of collaboration is the culprit? 

Join ATD-MAC virtually on Thursday, July 23rd for Kickstart With Collaboration. You’ll leave with clarity on the power of collaboration and take new perspective back to your workplace on how and when to collaborate for success.  

Guest blog by Nancy Kalsow, Certified Professional Coach, Business Consultant, Facilitator, Speaker, and Author. Nancy is dedicated to helping you live a fulfilling life with joy, success, and clarity.  She helps companies thrive as they lean into the values, talents, and experiences each team member brings to the table.  

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