Do you resist collaborating? Why?

That “I can do it myself” voice seems to show up now and again,  and when it does,  I sometimes feel like the shoemaker who neglects the holes in her children’s sneakers! That kitchen caper I wrote about last time sure is a good example of this for me, the blogger about collaboration! So what can we do when we feel resistant to collaboration?

Lone Ranger - from a4gpa on Flickr's Creative Commons

I think the first step is to wonder  about why the do-it-yourself voice  shows up at all.

Do-it-yourself reason #1 – It takes too much time to ask someone else for ideas or input. This could be true sometimes but thinking it is always true keeps us from discovering the gems in someone else’s ideas. When  a hospital PR client of mine was called by a member of the press to make a statement on behalf of her organization she had to respond immediately.  However, when she was preparing a summary for her Board of all the items happening within the hospital that might get attention by the press she canvassed all of her direct reports for what they knew.  It’s about making the best choice for the task at hand.

Do-it-yourself reason #2 – I already know how to accomplish the task.  We can sure be know-it-alls!  Remember me with the sureness of where those kitchen items best belong when moving into my new kitchen?  The truth is my partner has discovered a much better placement of the pots and pans after preparing a few meals there.  Showed me, didn’t he!

Do-it-yourself reason #3 – It’s too taxing to resolve the inevitable differences of opinions that result from involving others. Who wants conflict anyway, right?  Wrong.  Sometimes these differences of opinion mix together and transform into a brand new possibility.  Check out the blog of Frans Johansson, the author of The Medici Effect where he relates “intersectional stories”; examples of where innovation comes about from the synergy of differing views.

Maddie Hunter is a business coach who is passionate about exploring the power of collaboration with  her clients.

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