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Collaboration is Hard

Collaboration is a buzzword.


What most people often miss is the truth that collaboration is a SET of skills, not one skill.


Listening is by far the most important skill needed for effective collaboration.


All of the other skills needed come from that first skill.


Being authentic is also a buzzword and another SET of skills.


For example, authenticity includes:

  • Being honest and transparent with where I really am, and what I really want

  • Laying out my cards, face-up on the table, then inviting you to do the same

  • Being mindful of the impact of my communication so that essentially what you get is who I really am

Image Courtesy GapingVoid

I am currently collaborating on 3 different projects with 3 different colleagues who I regard highly, value as friends, and who I am willing to take the risk of discovering the challenge of learning how to be collaborative while maintaining our mutual respect and friendships.

3 of the agreements (often called ‘ground rules”) are:

  • Listen deeply

  • Inquire first

  • Practice curiosity

And, as I’m fond of saying; these all take commitment, practice, & support.



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