The graphic above freaking hilarious to me because this is often what I felt when working in an office. I hated collaborating and I especially didn't like working in groups. UGH! I am an extremely productive person and working with someone else and/or in a group always slowed me down and that pissed me off a lot. Maybe that's because I was working at a small non-profit and doing like 5 people's jobs and so it really did slow me down, but I digress. Since going out on my own and doing more creative pursuits, I've found a strong desire to collaborate with others in exciting new ways. Working with people like Lisa fills me up and inspires me, rather than draining me the way my office job collaborations used to. Interesting, huh!
The collaboration that I have with Lisa happened so organically and in its own time and from now on, all potential collaborations that seem forced or hurried will not get any time/attention from me. I think that when someone approaches you about a collaboration, listen to your gut and be patient. Don't get distracted by the excitement too much that someone wants to work with you - step back and look at the bigger picture.
Think about these things when looking at a future collaborator:
- Does their schedule have the adequate time & space for a collaboration with you?
- How well do they tolerate uncertainty? (I love this one because you never know how things are going to turn out until you start and what if you have to change course mid stream?)
- Do they have a track record of delivering on their promises?
- Will they bring a new perspective/expertise to what you're trying to do?
I found a cool checklist online right here and I will share some of the content with you below. I think that you should do this checklist today or this weekend and see if you are on the right path with your current collaboration and if you're not working with someone right now, in the future you can more honestly talk about what you bring to the table. Ask yourself some of these questions right now & post your answers in the comments below:
- Do you have a willingness to change your own pattern of thinking?
- Can you be challenged without taking it personally?
- How are your listening skills?
I hope our blog posts this week helped you think about collaborations in a new way and if you're not already in one, then look into it for the new year.