The Art of Collaboration
Sometimes it’s necessary to hold your position and not give in, but the trick is to know when. Is it the right time during a cross-departmental team meeting tasked with implementing a program for the executive director? How about during a meeting between two fundraising teams from different cancer organizations that are expected to put together a co-branded event for Cancer Awareness Month?
It’s helpful to understand that everyone involved in a collaborative effort brings to the table his or her own experiences and desires that have crafted who they are as a person. That often means each person will see different ways to accomplish the tasks at hand.
If you’re doing your part in the collaborative process, you recognize that there can easily be more than one way to get the job done and that your approach is just one of those ways. What happens in many collaborative efforts is someone tries to force others to see or do what he wants. You cannot force anyone to do anything. In other words, the desire for change must be there before change can happen. If the desire is not present, change will not take place.
Maintaining an open mind is very important. Openness can lead to new and fresh insights and discoveries. If we combine that openness with understanding, it can enhance our own learning process and expand our horizons.
4. Prioritize your intentions.
Earlier when I talked about setting your intentions, I demonstrated that it’s typical to have more than one intention for a meeting. It’s also natural to want to focus on all of the intentions at once, but it can be difficult to give the requisite attention to each one equally — especially if you’re implementing this process for the first time. That’s why it’s important to identify which intentions you want most to fulfill and prioritize them in your mind. That way, you can focus your attention on what is most important to you.