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The reality of collaboration

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Many leaders view “collaboration” as a way to get buy-in. That’s not collaboration.

It’s about asking people their input up front, when what is done and how it’s done matter. It’s about using a team to distill the best ideas, not necessarily your ideas.

There’s a continuum of three C’s: competition, cooperation and collaboration.

People often mistake cooperation for collaboration. Cooperation often means agreeing to something but, in exchange, giving up something important.

Cooperation can create dissonance, but it’s often expedient when stakes are low or speed is important.

Collaboration is a step above cooperation. When people collaborate, they:

  • Give up their vested interests for the greater good.
  • Work through differences.
  • Change their minds.

That’s rare. And it can be fun.

— Adapted from “Collaboration: It’s not what you think it is,” Mary Jo Asmus, SmartBlog on Leadership.

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