What is true collaboration? And is this actually possible in the workplace, especially when each person may have a milieu of subconscious emotions, feelings, perceptions and behaviors that they may not be aware of ?
True collaboration occurs when people work together, without any hidden agendas, to manifest a common greater vision. It is possible, yet it requires a continuous conscious intention, as well as a level of trust, respect, intimacy and authenticity within the group.
The reality is that most of us default to subconscious behaviors that keep us safe and secured. Thus, having trust, respect, intimacy and authenticity within a group may not be totally accessible to us. So how do we create a true collaborative environment?
It starts with the leader within you – by modeling the behavior and establishing the agreements that will inspire you to consciously create a collaborative environment.
Here are my top 5 agreements that I’ve found successful in creating this environment and that I suggest my partners to uphold:
1) Be the model of behavior for how you’d like people to behave with you. Be curious about each person. Be willing to receive and listen to them. Be willing to honor and respect them.
2) Bring conscious choice of intention and collaboration. Before you act or say something, ask yourself what is the intention behind your action and will the action support the environment for true collaboration. If not, notice what the action would feed in you and explore how you can meet this need in your own way that doesn’t require this group.
3) Be aware of what you are really creating and how will it benefit you and the group. Notice your thoughts and behaviors. Consider that whatever shows up in front of you, is what you are really creating. If this is not what you want to create, then notice how you got there and what actions you took to create that. No thing is a coincidence and no one is a victim of circumstance. We are powerful beings that create every thing that’s within us and in front of us.
4) Be genuine and authentic by being self accountable and transparent about your feelings with empathy and compassion. If you are triggered by someone, be willing to disagree without projecting your emotional milieu. Step away, feel your feelings and be willing to come back and communicate your position, without the emotions, but with empathy and compassion.
- Use “I” statements when expressing your feelings.
- Stick to the facts and stay away from assuming how other people feel.
- Notice your perceptions and what you say about others. Consider this is a reflection of how you subconsciously feel about your self.
5) See the meetings and conversations as an opportunity to learn about how you relate to others, develop intimacy and work collaboratively.
True collaboration may not be as easy but it’s worth the investment to see the magic happen – when everyone truly evolves and something much greater is co-created.