Celebrating Collaboration

Divisiveness. Acrimony. Partisanship. Unfortunately, these are terms that describe the state of our government. Can these issues be overcome? Is there room in Washington for collaboration? We may not be able to answer these questions or solve these issues, but there are things you can do to assure your organization isn’t described in these terms and instead is celebrating collaboration. 

Before our writing partnership began, Barbara and I had worked together on smaller projects.  We recognized we worked differently and at different paces. If we were to succeed, we had to stay out of each other’s way. We had to trust and respect each other’s knowledge, expertise and work styles. We knew that we had to build on each other’s strengths. We were a team and collaboration was a key component our writing process.

Are teams in your organization collaborating?  The key to collaboration is being inclusive, getting rid of the noise, and being mindful, thoughtful and purposeful. What are the signs that teams are collaborating? Inclusive teams:

  • Have structured opportunities for sharing
  • Have opportunities to teach each other
  • Are flexible regarding differing needs and preferences
  • Eliminate barriers to communication 
  • Establish ground rules
  • Explain unwritten rules to new members
  • Value differences
  • Work toward mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict
  • Honor time limits
  • Assure that everyone participates and no one dominates
  • Listen as allies
  • Celebrate small successes
  • Are considerate and respect time and each other

Writing a book is a major endeavor and after we finished our first, The Big Book of HR, we were both excited at how it all came together. We were not only proud of our end result, but we gained a renewed appreciation for the other.  We genuinely enjoyed working with each other, even during the stressful points in the process. In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we went on to write more books together:

The Essential Workplace Conflict Handbook

The Big Book of HR – Revised & Expanded Edition – coming in May 2017

The Conflict Resolution Phrase Book – coming in the fall of 2017 

Considering that we write in Northern Virginia, right outside “the Beltway” that surrounds Washington, DC, we often think how wonderful it would be if we could instill in our good friends “inside the Beltway ”the importance of collaboration as a key component in the process of governing!

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Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.