Collaborating for More Creativity, Fun, and Success

Collaboration is on my mind a lot lately.

It comes up frequently in conversations with independent professionals and business owners, writers and information product creators, teachers and trainers. It comes up when I think of something I want to accomplish, that seems a bit beyond my knowledge and abilities, but not a wild and crazy idea.

We’re all looking for ways to be more innovative and to do more important work, and to do things better, more gracefully, more happily.

That’s where collaboration comes in. It’s a wonderful way to pool our collective intelligence and creativity to do bigger, and often truly surprising, things. 

For example, yesterday I spent time in a coffee shop collaborating with a fellow consultant and coach on a new idea we have for a program to offer clients getting ready to shift occupational gears. 

You can imagine what happened.

We headed out in one direction, turned onto a different path, and eventually ended in a place fairly far from our original destination, but the end point felt right to us both.

We were excited, curious and focused, all along the way, as we realized that there really is something marvelous about the process of getting together, and playing with ideas and options for a joint effort.  We are poised to take the next steps to work together in a whole new arena.

Isn’t it fun working with someone else when you’re of shared minds, and working toward a common goal?

In my book, shared minds and goals are two keys to successful collaboration; plus it helps to have some common interests and values, and similar (or complementary) styles of working.

Together, they form a firm basis for happy collaborations.  We feel comfortable and free to say what we think, to come up with a new theory, or to scribble a picture to illustrate our visions.   

We figure we’ll be understood, appreciated, and challenged.  We’ll play together, and see what happens.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I love the power in my own, and others’ individual efforts. The thrill of sustained concentration and absorption in a task is a pleasure not to be missed!  Still, since it is often so easy to gain a fresh and valuable perspective from someone else – and to produce results that are interesting and unusual – doesn’t it make sense to do that more often?

When we peek outside our normal frames of reference, and combine our energies to focus on a problem or opportunity together, we invite our creative spirits to see bigger visions. We find the confidence to dare greater ventures.

I’m ready for more collaboration in my life. How about you?

I’m sure you can recall examples of amazing collaborations you have enjoyed. Think about them now. What did you do, who were you with, and what made for great experiences together?

To quote Helen Keller, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  How’s that apply to you? 

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