NOTE: Remember to look at previous and more current postings for other topics.
Recently, I got a chance to respond to an article in a strategic cyberspace group with the focus on Collaboration and how to do better.
Here is my take and what I responded with.
Communication, yes – communication is what is needed as we attempt better collaboration with others.
But overall, there is a critical piece to communication and that is ‘listening.’ Listening is a very key component to what ‘might be’ missing.
We have so many individuals who want to talk and be the primary talker – at all times, regardless of how beneficial the other party(s) to the conversation could turn out.
Many people just do not realize, even if they are the most senior person in the room or that they have been taught time and time again that one has to listen to others to become effective at communication.
You ‘should’ listen to what others have to say and it ‘should’ not matter if that other person(s) is:
a) Younger than you are,
b) Older than you,
c) Not as well educated as you,
d) Not able to speak as well as you do (not everyone is a great at elocution) or
e) Of a different – gender, or race, or religion,
f) Handicapped, or other aspects
Even with what I indicated above, you, the listener, must also exhibit:
1) Patience when listening to others – you do not always need to jump in talk over that other person before they finish getting their thoughts out,
2) Empathy at times and
And then too, there is the point of giving that person your undivided attention or focus as you listen to them. People like to know that “YOU” are listening AND paying attention to them, making them feel that their contribution is worthwhile.
Nearly everyone might have some nugget of knowledge you, the listener, can find useful or very illustrative in your quest. That other person could be someone in your field, he could be a secretary in the office – they are important too. That other person could even be a clerk from the mailroom making a valid inference.
Regardless of the other person’s position, my point is – that other person just might create some synergistic mode in you to kick in. You never know, not until you listen to others as you collaborate and communicate.
Communication, and listening, plays a great part in collaboration across all the fields you indicated. We do need to have/use some kind of common lexicon whenever we collaborate so that everyone is aware of what the other(s) meant and not guess at or misunderstand the conversation.