The Myth of Collaboration

wednesdays with wayne Apr 06, 2022

There have been some truly odd things that I’ve seen and heard in the three and a half decades I’ve worked with organizations’ leaders. As my DynamicLeader® Brand is shifting a bit, I was reflecting on the good, the bad, and the SMH confusing leadership moments I witnessed.


What Happened?


My work is about clarification, it’s about communication, it’s about curiosity, and it results in boosted productivity and, dare I say, a sense of fulfillment!


And that sounds so easy and fun. The thing is, I’m called in to support teams in becoming more efficient and leaders in the skills of leadership because things are messy. 


As I worked to build a communication bridge between two departments within the same corporate division, I asked a question about his ideas on collaboration.


“Can your group work in tandem with the other group? Can’t you find a way to collaborate?”


He was serious when he responded in earnest, attempting to find a resolution to the stand-still they were at: “I’m happy to collaborate. If they’d do things our way, we’d be able to get this done with no problem.” 


That seems so ridiculous looking at it from the outside. 

The approach of “We can collaborate if you’ll just do it my way” is more common than you might think. In fact, look at anything you’ve wanted from your family, local shops, or even your own work teams. You want something and you believe you’re contributing to a collaboration, when in reality, you believe everyone should see things your way and, ultimately, just do things your way.


It takes guts to admit that. This leader I was working with just blurted it out, his subconscious at work. From the Latin, Col means “together” and you mix that with Laborae, “to work” and you get working together. That means understanding what the other person’s objective is and potentially sharing resources to create an outcome that fulfills a combined objective. 


Create a shared objective and combine resources to reach it. 

That’s the bottom line for teams, departments, divisions, families, and even people in sales.


You’ve got this – stay curious! Use a Parallax Perspective to interrupt your hidden biases!

(See my TEDx talk on that, here!)


See you here next week!


= Wayne = 

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