Collaboration & Supporting Others

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

The insights below were gathered after setting up a group book reading with one of my past teams. The author Shawn Kent Hayashi wrote Conversations that Get Results and Inspire Collaboration with: Engage Your Team, Your Peers, and Your Manager to Take Action -- with the intent of sharing the foundations for successful collaboration and supporting others. 


I follow her teachings and try to collaborate effectively with peers, using the below steps as a guide:


1. Put Team Success Ahead of Personal Gain: As an individual, you always want to do your personal best, but learn that team success will always achieve greater results. Olympic athletes are the best example of team success, where individuals are striving not only for their own performances, but for their country and others, which is the unifying symbol of the Olympic Games. 


2. Tap Into a Broad Range of Resources: You’ve probably heard the expression, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Everyone brings something to the table, whether it is intellectual, creative, or financial, among other things. 


3. Be Social: “We have a primitive need to be social,” says Dr. Kamen-Gredinger,licensed psychologist and educator. On a personal level, people feel great when someone values your interest in them. 


4. Ask Questions: Instead of always telling, try asking questions. When you start a conversation with a question, you immediately bring someone else in and add something bigger than what one individual can do. 


5. Keep Commitments: For personal and professional development, follow through with your promises. People will know and remember they can count on you.


6. Connect Authentically with Each Other: Be genuine in your approach to collaborate with people. Working collaboratively can strengthen your connections. As you learn to collaborate better, you will be helping others along the way, too. 


7. Do Your Personal Best: Ask yourself whether you are collaborating or working against every possible means to obtain the best outcome. If situations arise in which you feel threatened, continue to connect with others to work together. 


8. Group Dynamics: When you approach a collaborative opportunity, explain what you are doing with as much clarity as possible and express why you feel this way. Open up the possibilities--people will believe in you, and both sides will see the benefits. 


9. Tune in When You Meet Someone: When you are making a connection, listen carefully and show this person matters to you. Everyone wants to feel their voice matters.