Top Ten Collaboration Lessons from Collaboration Strategists

When my Canadian joint venture partner Monique MacKinnon and I met a year ago, we each had an intention of working collaboratively. She’s an extrovert and I’m an introvert so we have a good balance in our teamwork. I’m just not sure either of us envisioned where our meeting would take us. The collaboration lessons we’ve learned have been numerous. Here is the list which we call, Top 10 Reasons Why Collaborating Could Give You Nightmares:

    There’s no doubt that business collaborations are a hugely successful way for an entrepreneur or small business to grow. But, you can either curse or celebrate collaborations. Here are the top ten reasons you may be avoiding them.

    1. Previous collaborations have failed you.

    One of the biggest fears comes from what you may have already experienced in collaborating. It’s similar to how people answer my workshop question, “When you think of salesperson, what comes to mind?” The words captured on the easel are in line with, sleazy, high-pressure, dishonest, and the list goes on. Why? Previous experiences are on the top of mind.

    2. It means working toward clearer communication.

    A great number of collaboration efforts are initiated online. Email is a primary mode of communication but don’t rely it. An email that asks, “Do you get this blog?” might be answered, “No, I don’t get it.” Misinterpretation can be rampant with assumptions, poor word choice and poor listening leading the way.

    3. Online it can begin to seem 140 characters is enough.

    Successful collaborations because you have tens of thousands of followers, do not create a magic carpet ride flowing along the 140-character stream.

    4. In-person, your presence will be required.

    Nothing can replace an in-person meeting. You lose the ability for understanding the full message from people with out including the distinct advantage of meeting in-person.

    5. Agreements will take more time than on your own.

    Collaboration is time consuming. Instead of just one company or one person creating and delivering, there are now, two or more coming together and to create something new. The timeline is suddenly stretched out.

    6. Access to collaboration tools may be required.

    Working across international borders and time zones, without places to share documents or ideas momentum, can slow progress down.

    7. You must be ready for personal growth on many levels.

    Collaborating to create takes two, and generally slows processes down. If you are uncomfortable with delay you may add resistance to impede progress further.

    8. You’ll need to be a change leader.

    Buzzards, bats and bumblebees can each struggle and die when they find themselves with limited movement in any kind of container or space. If you are more of a follower to change, collaboration will beat you down like a limited container does to buzzards, bats and bumblebees.

    9. Disagreements are highly likely.

    Squabbles happen. You will not agree on every thing and with greater dependence on email communication over conversation, this raises the bar for more disagreement.

    10. Lack of organization and little flexibility are part of your daily agenda.

    The expression “Life happens!” when you are in collaboration has an echo effect of “”Life happens, happens, happens!” Things are going to come up for the each party that are unavoidable and can put your collaboration conversation on hold or even stop it.

    Are these nightmares unavoidable with most collaborations? They can certainly be minimized. You can take actions, shift beliefs and find better ways of being to have more collaborations that are more dreamlike.

Collaboration Strategists, Patricia Weber & Monique MacKinnon help you discover the secrets to the process of how to land success instead of flops when taking the collaboration plunge. How To Find Your Best-Fit Joint Venture Partner With Less Time And Energy plus Entrepreneurial Joint Ventures: Psychology + Soul guarantee your collaborations become successful. Just email [email protected] for your two free excerpts.

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  1. A big part of why I prefer to do everything myself is that I do not like having to deal with another persons traits and characteristics.

    It’s not that they are lazy, or obnoxious, or lack drive. It’s just that personalities are not always compatible. Unlike in a workplace setting where working together is facilitated by a separation of the job and personal traits, collaboration requires a much more intense and intimate level or teamwork.

    If I am ever to consider working with someone in that manner again, a big part of my decision will be based on whether or not I feel that this persons personality and character will compliment my own, or clash with it.

  2. Good information. 8. You’ll need to be a change leader. applies in many situations.


    Teacher: Why can’t freshwater fish live in salt water? S:The salt would give them high blood pressure.

  3. Paul, it’s crucial to take time upfront to understand the other’s personality. Even ask the person if they know what their style is using any of the style tools. If you know your own and you know theirs you can find the threads of compatibility.

    Jim, absolutely true that being on the edge of change is important even outside of collaboration.

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