Skills for collaboration

EarsDeb Lavoy has an interesting piece on the skils required of collaboration in CMS Wire. Enterprise Collaboration Requires Critical New Skills

The way we currently think of working was formed by a command and control, industrial age of process, manufacturing and efficiencies of scale. Collaboration is a different model. It depends on people, not process. It depends on outstanding communication — because collaboration requires thinking and acting together. We are in an age where we have created technology that makes this easier, but we are still evolving our understanding of how best to do it. With this new way of work, comes a new set of critical skills.

She goes through various levels of collaboration and describes the key skill(s) involved. Individuals need "curiosity with humility." Small groups need people who are always seeking to learn and improve. Larger teams need the respect of one another, so listening and reasoned questions are key. Management needs a focus on goals and encouragement, instead of fear. And leadership needs excellent question-asking skills.

It's interesting to read how Deb builds these skills upon each other. Listening clearly flows throughout her discussion, and I think the ability to reflect on one's own behavior/ideas as well as that of others is another thread through the discussion. I also like the idea of "curiosity" that she expresses for individuals. This is something I think has always followed my adventures in work.

[Photo: "Ears" by Daniel Montesinos]

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