Defining the objectives and the roadmap of a collaboration

Ask: What are our goals and process for this project?

Articulate each person's definition of success and vision of the path ahead. The goal is to ensure that both move in the same direction and don't work at cross purposes.

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Collaboration can be a double-edged sword

Organizations today are increasingly collaborative across interdependent teams. But collaboration can have two sides: It can lead to improved outcomes and intrinsic motivation, or it can significantly slow down decision-making and result in ongoing engagement that takes up most employees' time.

First discussing specific questions with your new colleague will enable you to work together more effectively and ensure a positive working relationship.

Ask: Who will do what, and by when?

Knowing who is responsible for what will help balance the workload, avoid duplicate work, and preempt territorial behaviour. Establishing accountability for progress on various deliverables can create greater clarity and increase the likelihood that goals will be met.

Ask: What are our individual preferred working styles and strengths?

Not understanding the differences in style can cause irritation or conflict. Understanding each other's strengths can help determine the division of labour.

Ask: When and how will we give each other feedback on our working relationship?

Establishing a process for feedback can build the relationship.

Ask: What do we need from each other to do our best work?

It is important to discuss this question if you have never met before. Understanding how you can support each other to do your best work is only possible is you are clear about your needs. If you feel like you tolerate something from your colleague, it is often an unspoken request you have yet to make.

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RELATED IDEAS

Waiting For The Email Response

A common scenario in the world of remote working is waiting for a response for the email one has sent, looking for the information, input or conversation that is required from a coworker or a client.

While we start to think that we are being ghosted, it is common for people to delay email responses as they are juggling work and personal commitments, and our email does not make it to their top 10 list of must-do work. We can keep a few things in mind while reaching the person again in a follow up email.

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IDEAS

It can be a challenge to make a potential partner agree to collaborate with us. If it is a known acquaintance or someone who owes us a favour, the task becomes a bit easier. If there isn’t any strong, pre-existing relationship, we have to demonstrate logic, rationality and mutual benefits, highlighting what is in it for them.

Example: If we have to convince a celebrity to speak at a college, and don’t have the funds, we can present the engagement to them as a chance to reach a wider audience and showcase their serious side.

Remote Workshops

Collaborative workshops in a conference room where bright minds work shoulder-to-shoulder is an effective way to foster innovative ideas and forging intangible connections.

Remote workshops, which are increasingly the new reality, find it challenging to create that ‘magic’.

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