Top 10 Things to Know about Collaboration


Collaboration is a powerful commodity. Collaboration creates powerful results! Collaboration generates a synergy that's moving and inspirational. The synergy in a powerful collaboration creates outcomes bigger and better than what we can create on our own.

1. Collaboration is what happens when we *step outside of our selves* and honor the space we share more than where we each individually come from. Collaboration is what we create when we come together.

2. There is no "i" in team. Powerful collaboration requires leaving our egos behind and putting what occurs between us first. Collaboration requires teamwork, knowing one's purpose and roles, and crystal clear communication skills. It means valuing the collaboration more than the things that get in its way.

3. Acknowledge and appreciate the space that collaboration emerges from and thrives in, and make a commitment to creating that space! Yes, even if it takes work to do so. (It's difficult to be generous when our own needs aren't being met.)

4. Collaboration requires openness. It requires openness to the other as well as to oneself. Be open to the magic that can emerge when interacting with another and there you'll find the seeds of collaboration.

5. Collaboration requires a context of acceptance and shared values. It means sharing a commitment to the goal, outcome and process the collaboration lives within. It means paying attention to the we as much as the I as a context for growth and development. Life unfolds in proportion to the context that we create for it.

6. Collaboration isn't only about outcomes and benefits ­ at its essence, it's about contribution. Stop playing the *success* game, which has an opposite: failure. Instead, follow advice from the book *The Art of Possibility* (Benjamin and Rozamund Zander) and look for ways to make a contribution. Contribution has no opposite! Focus on shared goals and vision from the perspective of contribution for maximum effectiveness.

7. Collaboration sets the stage for a universe of possibilities. Our universe of possibility increases exponentially when we're in collaboration with others.

8. Collaboration is the synergy of multiple elements coming together, complementing each other's strengths, challenges, approaches and styles, while moving together towards a goal. This requires agility in communication and responsiveness, as well as an ability to see the world from the perspective of another.

9. A collaborative environment hastens our individual transformation. When we're around others who challenge, inspire and bring out our best, we evolve more quickly. Working with others who stimulate us brings out our strengths and minimizes our weaknesses.

10. Collaboration requires a leap of faith ­ jump in before you know the outcome! Facing one's fears and living from acceptance, as well as a commitment to a higher good are prerequisites for meaningful collaboration to emerge.


Jan Gordon, LCSW is an Executive and Personal Coach who finds great joy in helping her clients achieve outstanding results! Ms. Gordon provides coaching to individuals and teams who are dedicated to enhancing their personal power and sense of fulfilment. Her coaching embraces the concept that challenge provides opportunity. Visit her website at: Jan can reached at

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