This round of pet peeves is focused on collaboration. Yep, new year, new pet peeves!
- Do you know what collaboration means? Too many people act as if cooperation and collaboration are the same things. They are not. Think of cooperation as a relay race. Four people have distinct parts to get a common goal finished. Technically, they win or lose together but everyone knows how well each one did on their split time. Cooperation is “my part, your part”. Collaboration is working on something actively together for a common goal. There is no individual in collaboration, only “our part”. Collaboration is feeding off each other’s ideas and concerns. Collaboration is not being able to tell who did what for the outcome.
- Not having time for collaboration. Collaboration is not optional for knowledge work. Collaboration is what unlocks the wisdom of the crowd. This means collaboration helps to achieve innovation, quality, creativity, etc. in your deliverables. You can’t achieve customer satisfaction without collaboration. Teams spend way more time tracking down, cleaning up, etc from the lack of collaboration. You have time.
- But what if that person is annoying? You have that problem regardless of whether you collaborate or not. Sometimes, collaboration can help you find the person less annoying because you see their value above their quirks. Sometimes, collaboration can help you address a conflict that you have been avoided. Sometimes, a collaboration can highlight they find you just as annoying and now you both have to figure out how to proceed. Again, you can’t achieve customer satisfaction by avoiding people on your team.
- But how will my performance be measured? First, I’m so sorry that your organization is measuring individual performance only and not teamwork. I’m assuming that because otherwise, this wouldn’t be a concern. Your performance would be measured by how you are helping the team perform. Second, I know that having a clear list of checkmarks to highlight exactly what you did is comforting. However, being able to have people around you excel because you are actively collaborating, you will excel too. Way more than from any individual list.
As much as these are pet peeves, they are mine, and as a leader that doesn’t mean, I get to simply judge others. Instead, these serve as opportunities for others and for me to grow. If this stuff was easy, I wouldn’t be sharing.
What are your collaboration pet peeves?