Becoming a collaborator helps you achieve more than you could do on your own. It also helps you support others and earn some good quality goodwill and loyalty that can come in handy. How do you become a collaborator?
Prepare to lead and to follow: Good collaborators can adapt well and become what the situation needs them to become, enhancing or changing behaviours as necessary to keep moving forward. To collaborate well, you must engage others early and focus on achieving a â€˜win winâ€™ result for everyone. You must also be comfortable with lining up behind others best placed to lead in any given circumstance. Aim to be aware of othersâ€™ needs: So that you can agree mutually beneficial goals. Emphasise what you have in common with others; how you can give your best; and how you can get the best from others. Understand yourself, where your â€˜rough edgesâ€™ are so that you donâ€™t rub people the wrong way. Appeal to others by showing that you can adapt to their needs and interests in a mutually beneficial way.
Find out what may not be obvious: You must learn to read between the lines. Connect the dots and find a way to work out what your counterpart may want that might not be immediately obvious. Donâ€™t be afraid to ask questions in order to establish whatâ€™s important to them. Move with purpose but pay attention to your gut too.
Be comfortable with getting something too: Collaboration isnâ€™t just about helping someone else achieve their goals, and interests etc. You donâ€™t have to give up your goals and be prepared to get your ideas across in a decisive way provided you donâ€™t expect others to give up their goals for yours. Develop high expectations of yourself and others. Be clear what support you need from others and ask for it.
Show you can always be trusted: Collaboration is a partnership and so you must earn the confidence of others. Show that you are committed to their interests and willing to put your energies in.
Now take action: Where would your biggest strength be as a collaborator?