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Collaboration Is Critical to Success

By Joey Havens

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“Will you hang these curtains back up? I have the hooks already in them.”

I gaze over at the pile of curtains sitting on our den couch and then up to the tall windows. I’m thinking this will require the ladder for sure.

“Sure, CeCe, that’s the very next thing I will do. Just let me finish with this blog.”

Three hours later, I had my blog draft ready, the dog walked, scoured my Ole Miss football news, paid some bills and finished a snack. Then the glare from the sun hits me right in the eyes as I walk by and I am immediately reminded of the glare that I’m going to get from CeCe when she walks into the room. Oops! I have completely forgotten the curtains.

Ladder out, curtains in hand, I’m on it. Twenty minutes later — mission accomplished — and my Saturday is back under my control.

Thankfully, CeCe had some errands to run (this always includes stopping at a shop somewhere) and has not returned yet.

As CeCe and I collaborated on my to-do list earlier in the day, I had made a commitment to her, and I knew it was important because she had worked hard at cleaning these herself during the week.

I got lucky this time. Had she returned before I finished with the curtains, I would have been creating the perception that the curtains were not important to me and frankly, her request and need were secondary or unimportant. There’s no doubt I would have lost some trust with her.
This life lesson is critical for our success at home and work.

Collaboration is a skill that can distinguish us as very valuable team members. Collaboration creates a culture of We versus Me. Collaboration increases trust and when trust grows, so do the team results. Collaboration takes communication, commitment and focus.

Have we slipped on our commitment with a team member? Are we missing opportunities to collaborate for better outcomes? Are we listening so that we understand what our team and clients need from us? This skill set is critical for teams and individuals as we jettison into a world of complexity, uncertainty and change. Practice makes us stronger.

“OH, you got the curtains hung. They look fantastic! Thanks!”

“Yeah, I jumped right on it.” 😉

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