The Power of Complimenting in Collaboration

Collaboration, collaboration, collaboration – we hear this term consistently among work groups and teams. But, how does the process of collaboration produce successful results?

Most recently, I have had a deeper appreciation for the phrases, “Less is More” and “Simple is Better.” My husband and I moved to Northwest Arkansas in May of 2014. The task when selling a house is to clear the clutter and make everything in your house look simple, and provide an inviting visit for future buyers. So how do you provide an inviting time of collaboration for your team or work group? Why not show up with “LESS?!” The rest of this article will focus on the LESS strategy to collaboration.

Leave the ego self in your office. Notice I said ego self. Please bring your higher-than-self ego. The ego self can be self-serving, arrogant, and overbearing and can be damaging to collaboration. Ego self has a difficult time getting past their own agenda and on to the agenda of the team or workgroup. However, higher-than-self ego has the capability to see beyond the “own agenda” syndrome, and operate from a mindset of the greater common good. Higher-than-self is aware of the valuable contributions of others.

Expect to be complimented by your teammate’s strengths. How many of you are grateful that you don’t have to be good at everything? Society in general has us competing for everything. We hear phrases such as “Be the biggest in your industry,” “Always climb to the top,” “Get the latest and greatest product on the market.” These phrases do have some merit, and spur us forward to improvements. However, if we allow those phrases and others to control our ego self, it is difficult to allow others to compliment us with their greatest strengths. I am not a good “techy;” however, I have teammates that can complement me with their technical expertise. All I have to do is show up with content, and they engage their technical strengths to make a beautiful product.

Show up confident in your own strengths. For a team to pull out the best results, everyone must have identified their strengths and developed them. Have you identified your greatest strengths? There are several strengths assessments (i.e. StrengthFinders 2.0; Standout Assessment) that could be used to evaluate your strengths. Identifying these strengths and integrating them in all aspects of your life will build your confidence and competence during collaboration. Leadership/life coaches can also aid in developing your strengths.

Simplify the process with vision and navigation. You may think that vision only applies to a future state/image of an organization. How many of you have attended a collaborative session where there has been no agenda prepared before the session? How much was accomplished? Perhaps a brainstorming collaborative session would appear to have no agenda, but even a brainstorming session has a vision of creativity and innovation. Allow your teammates to see the collaborative “trip” ahead by navigating them through the session, charting the course with set goals and an agenda, starting with the end in mind, and conveying trust and confidence in the strengths of your teammates. Expect marvelous results by showing up with LESS at your next collaborative session.

Dr. Rhonda S. Ellis

INTOUCH Coaching, LLC. http://www.wiseandintouch.com