Unity is strength… when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved. Mattie Stepanek

Last week we talked about how we’re all on overload and need to ensure that our interactions and meetings are meaningful and that we create the “right” environment.

Today we’ll take it a bit deeper and focus on COLLABORATION. Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann created a Conflict Mode Instrument which includes 5 components; today we’ll only address COLLABORATION.

They define COLLABORATION as:

  • Assertive and Cooperative – Win/Win
  • Working together to find a solution that fully satisfies the concerns of both
  • Digging into an issue to identify underlying concerns and finding an alternative that meets both sets of concerns
  • The downside of collaboration is that it may be time consuming, so reserve it’s use for major issues, be willing to truly listen, and obtain alignment on what you’re trying to achieve.

Natalia Jones and Jean Scheid provide another perspective on collaboration. Excerpts include:

Advantages of Collaboration in the Workplace:

  • The Collaborative Process Combines Different Perspectives
  • Workplace Collaboration Encourages Creativity
  • Collaboration Takes Advantage of Synergies
  • Workplace Collaboration Brings Balance to Decision Making
  • Collaboration May Improve Delivery Times (as a result of working together)

Disadvantages of Collaboration in the Workplace:

  • The Incidence of Group Think (when stronger personalities take control)
  • Possible Ambiguity in Roles and Responsibility (lack of defined “who” does “what”)
  • The Cost of Collaboration May Be High (large numbers of participants can equate to greater time and cost)
  • Collaboration Often Leads to Longer Decision Times (how many decision-makers are involved)
  • Conflict Within the Group (ineffective communication can cause clashes and muddle objectives)
  • For more visit: http://www.brighthub.com/office/collaboration/articles/73856.aspx.
    We still view COLLABORATION as a win-win skill-set. What do you think?