Collaboration-resistant colleagues are tough to work with. Because there is not one idea you can introduce to the table they haven’t heard of before, thought of themselves, or already learned. Or so they say.
Do you work with collaboration-resistant colleagues?
Your collaboration-resistant colleagues are “been there, done that” folks. Not knowing, not having an answer is not an option for them. Their mission is to place all conversations within the context of their what-I-know, comfortable box. Consequently, their default mode shuts collaborative, expansive conversations. As a result, the collaborative effort becomes less-than, instead of more-than. Thus, team dynamics resemble an accordion-like tug-of-war. Some collaboration-comfortable colleagues push back against these resistors. And nothing really moves forward, meaningfully. As the saying goes: “You can’t read the label if you are inside the bottle (or box).” Collaboration-resistant colleagues love keeping other colleagues inside the boxes of their design.
Collaboration-resistant colleagues contract the conversation arena into the way things always are done around here. Over time, they dismiss the value of collaborative, creative decisions.
Then again, there are those colleagues who are contrarians.
Most likely, you work with a few of these folks, too. Unlike collaboration-resistant colleagues, contrarians tend to push back on group-think. Chances are, you experience a bit of group-think, as well. Contrarians challenge teams to consider more options for decision making – and not just for the sake of being contrary. Contrarians are stellar problem-solvers and creative thinkers. Because they trust their judgment, they are the first ones in line for a ticket to what is new, next and changing. Thus, contrarians do not push back or introduce out-of-the-ordinary ideas just to be “against” the status quo. Rather, contrarians see the problem with a different lens and perspective than the majority of colleagues. What is the saying? “You can’t read the label if you are inside the bottle (or box)?” Contrarians are outside the bottle or box, reading the current label, and suggesting options. They are catalysts for innovation.
Contrarians expand the conversation arena into what is new, next, and changing. Especially when you are wrestling with mission-critical issues requiring courage, curiosity and critical thinking skills. As one of my colleagues said of me, recently, “Contrarians, like Babette, make the other people around her better than they were before.”
In my role as speaker, coach and facilitator, I push people one millimeter further than what is comfortable. Because when you are making hard calls together and innovating in new directions, what is Possible is always one millimeter beyond what is comfortable. If that doesn’t describe the last 18 months, I do not know what does. To get to where you really need to go, together, isn’t it time to move one millimeter beyond what is known. So you and I get to what is Possible? Together.
Searching for a coaching catalyst to get you unstuck professionally? Looking for a meeting or event speaker focused on what is new and next? Then engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person.
Change Agent | Collaboration Catalyst | Complex Problem Solver | Professional Innovation | Cross Functional Leadership | Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
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Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ programs catalyze people who solve problems differently to collaborate more successfully. Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant, and strategically valuable as you create and implement innovative and robust strategic business and human capital outcomes together. Babette is a business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, PMI-certified Wicked Problem Solver, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of the ASQ, SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.