Towards Good Collaboration

This is a list of rules for collaboration from an expert on what doesn’t work:

Be compassionate. If you’re in a design critique, for example, then you ought to be both critical and encouraging. Good critique should be encouraging. If you’re making someone less excited to work on their project then you’re doing it wrong.

Be humble. I don’t know everything and so far as I can tell none of the other people I’ve ever worked with know everything. Conversations become really fun and interesting opportunities to teach and to learn from one another. I think the conversations I enjoy the most are the ones I have with folks who are happy to teach and to be taught.

Be engaged. I can’t even begin to tell you how crumby it is to sit in a room full of smart people while only two of them are talking about an idea. Lively discussions where people riff on each other’s ideas are the best! Interesting, great ideas stem from positive energy. Partial engagement stifles that energy.

Be helpful. I’ve been in far too many meetings where it seems like some folks in the room are resentful that they have to be there. That sucks for them and for the others in the room. Recognize those feelings, understand them, and then be helpful so that others can benefit from what you know! And if you can’t do that, consider leaving the room and going for a walk.

If you’ve got other tips/tricks for creating a solid collaborative space, I’d love to hear them! Add comments : )

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