Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Master Collaborator, Is There Such A Thing?

Whether during a meeting, on a specialized project, group research, non-profit committees, you've witnessed it! He/she comes out of the woodwork and: engages, challenges, warms up the debate, cools it down, makes you think, stops you in your tracks, brings in an expert, makes a great point, tells you like it is, uses technology, teaches, mentors, arrives on time, makes people feel like their contributions matter, and, as always, more...


I'm describing a master collaborator; a focused participant that brings your project/meeting/ideas some life. Are they born with it? Is it taught? If we all have experienced this type of person, why aren't there more like 'em?



As we have learned, collaboration isn't an easy skill. We learn it... Sorry to say, but rarely are people born collaborators. Take one of our natural reactions: defensiveness. It is perfectly natural to get defensive, we are hard-wired to be. When challenged, our blood pressure rises and we get confrontational. Yet, this isn't collaborative - thus not natural. Instead, the master collaborator, will embrace the defensiveness, call it out, and determine how to improve the situation. Again, when was the last time you did this?


My point: when you experience a master collaborator, learn from them. Ask for mentorship! It is through direct experience that we learn the best, so be mindful and learn...


Thank you to http://www.flickr.com/photos/dharmaphotos/165361858/ for the awesome picture!

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