One of the reasons why I’m so intrigued with the power of collaboration is because I keep having to rediscover how valuable it is. I just finished designing a workshop on coaching skills and although I was offered some encouragement and ideas from a friend or two, most of the creative work was done by myself sitting here in my home office. It’s true that these last couple of weeks have been unusally hectic for me with some family issues layered on top of an already full life. However, I bet that makes me just like you — except I’m the one pondering collaboration and working on a book about it! How could this happen? Well…..I know the answer. It’s where my fierce determination meets up with my saying “Yes” to a few too many things. On overload, I buckle down to survive what is expected and I tell myself the lone-ranger routine is the only way I can get through. It’s as if I say to myself, “No more input, interactions or distractions now. Just focus”! This hyperdrive jettisons me right past any opportunity to connect with anyone else.
Many years ago my friend, Patti Kaufman, gifted me with one of her paintings called Fierce Determination. With her art, she honored my courage and fortitude in dealing with some of my life’s disappointments. Yet, it is these same qualities that have also been at work creating some isolation for me in recent weeks. So, I’m digging out some tips for collaboration to avoid stranding myself again this week. What do you do when find yourself in a rut of working alone?