What Does Real Collaboration Look Like?

Have you heard the organizational battle cry to collaborate more? 
Behave as an innovator? Lead from where you are? Yet, at the end of the day curiosity is discouraged---those who seek to understand are perceived as lacking know-how. Thinking-out-of-the-box gets you labeled a trouble-maker. And listening, rather than jockeying for position, makes you a dead beat.

Here's a brief checklist (inspired by Michele Occhiogrosso) to discover if your organization is just talking-the-collaborative-talk or walking the collaborative walk?

  • Are people speaking on top of each other in meetings or is silence okay?
  • Do you hear, "Just fix it" or "Let's get to the root of it" before we act?
  • Do your colleagues and leadership show up as experts or show up as learners?
  • Do others hold back---speaking only when certain or do they speak when uncertain?
  • Is information taken at face value or do you identify and explore the gaps?

Take a look around and discover where you can continue to grow collaboration in your workplace or step out and reform those norms of division and disunion!

Mary McGuinness, M.Ed., PCC is a career transition and shift-it coach based in Chicago, IL USA.
Mary uses visual coaching and design-thinking techniques and practices to accompany her clients on a journey of self-discovery that results in creative solutions, faster results, and happier, more fulfilling careers.  

Mary McGuinness