Most of us have collaboration common sense. You know, the voice of our conscience telling us to “play nice with everyone in the workplace.” Even if we do not like our colleagues and co-workers. Or, we do not possess the hard and soft skill sets to collaborate very well.
Even if we do not play nice with everyone in the workplace, at all. Like ever.
That is why collaboration common sense is workplace unsustainable.
Attendees at many of my workshops and keynotes, especially those on cross-functional collaboration and professional intimidation, get back to me, post-event. They tell me that what I motivate them to do is not as easy-peasy as they thought it would be.
I mean, not pouncing on your business colleagues when they spray and pray technical terminology in meetings (and don’t really understand what they are talking about). Or, resisting the temptation to turn off and tune out when your STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) colleagues drone on and on. How many slides with white font on dark blue background, jam-packed with data, can they present, anyway? And, besides. Who else – other than them – really comprehends what all that data means?
And then, there are the colleagues who never carry their weight on projects. But always seem to get away with it?
OK, so common sense tells you that you can do this. So, you prepare yourself to gut it out for one more cross-functional meeting. And you do really well.
Then, there are the next three meetings you attend the same day. As the day moves along, your patience and tolerance levels slowly drain away. And by the end of the day, you are not collaborating very well, at all.
You are back to where you started. Common sense collaboration takes more than a one-and-done attitude. In fact, it takes 100% commitment. Like training for a triathlon or going on a diet.
As a result, collaboration common sense is not about “acting” or “tolerating” or “enduring.”
All of us have the common sense to probably fake our way through meetings with colleagues we either cannot stand or understand. However, that common sense collaboration tactic is superficial. It is more like tolerance than it is collaboration. Plus, you are not fooling anyone.
Consider that this type of workplace “norm” isn’t sustainable and it sure isn’t collaboration. You know you are far better than that.
Have a nagging sense that there is so much more collaboration you can be doing, but are confined by your current job function and colleagues? Find out about my summer mini program on Professional Recalibration. Liberate yourself and your team from same-old, same-old mindset and self-limiting habits.
Target a professional innovation program focused on developing enduring cross-functional common sense. Make collaboration common sense second-nature. Hard wire this practice into your professional DNA. You actually make a professional pivot, observing, processing and responding to conversations in a completely different manner than you are used to. With far more productive and profitable results.
Collaboration common sense is not common, at all.
Focusing on making collaboration common sense an all-day, every day part of corporate culture starts with one person. How about you? Then two. Then a team creating extraordinary and enduring, client-focused outcomes.
An idea for you. Do you have a summer project that is giving you fits? Why go about solving the problem the way you and your team always do? What a great beta opportunity for leveraging collaboration common sense. Contact me and let’s get started. What are you waiting for?
Start moving one millimeter outside your current professional comfort level, today.
- Engage me to speak or conduct an interactive workshop at your next corporate or association event.
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Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™, is an innovative speaker, strategist, and storyteller. Babette’s One Millimeter Mindset™ Workshops and Speaking programs leverage collaboration to catalyze professional innovation, workforce engagement and customer retention. Babette’s playbook of collaboration tools, Do YOU Mean Business?, is available on Amazon. She is a member of SME, ASQ, SHRM and the National Speakers Association.
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