I always dreaded when the teachers would place us in groups on projects in school because you would always have the person who wanted to be in charge, the person who never did their share of the work or the person who was always indecisive and totally useless when it came to brainstorming and making decisions. It made the project a lot more stressful than it had to be and the end result would often be a mishmash of mediocrity- just enough to pass.
Real life collaborations will follow this same path if you're not careful. Here are five tips for guaranteeing strong collaborations:
1. Determine what role everyone will play before you get started. Will there be a leader? Will responsibilities be shared? Make sure everyone is on board and understands their role.
2. Set deadlines and stick to them. Make sure everyone takes the project seriously and is committed to meeting the deadlines.
3. Be open to explore ideas and opinions different from your own. One of the biggest issues with collaborations is people aren't willing to consider ideas that are not their own or things that they aren't familiar with. You can't stay nestled in your comfort zone if it's going to stifle the growth of everyone else involved.
4. Learn to communicate effectively. Set meetings and times to chat face to face to (or on the phone) to discuss the progress of the project. Emails and text messages often lead to miscommunication. Watch your tone and remain respectful but also don't bite your tongue if there is something you're concerned about.
5. Check your ego at the door. When you are working on a collaborative project remember it's NOT ABOUT YOU. So many people get caught up in titles and credit instead of working to do their best to make the collaboration or project successful.
I am a loner. I've always been a loner. I actually prefer to work alone. Why? Because teams are often unpredictable and my Taurean nature thrives on being in control of the outcome. Teams also mean dealing with different personalities and attitudes and politics and a bunch of other stuff that can stall productivity.
However teams also mean you get different thoughts, opinions and ideas which are critical for lasting success. While I might think I am the best thing since sliced bread it's always good to have another perspective. Case and point: I have done the majority of the work for publishing my book on my own however I did enlist two pre-readers and I paid a professional editor to do line by line editing of my manuscript. And I have NO REGRETS!!
I've read my story, What Was Missing at least ten times and each time I found a minor error or something that didn't sound right. I realized I needed another pair of eyes to take a look at the story and the feedback has been nothing short of amazing! I'm making changes based on their suggestions and it is really strengthening the story. Letting go and allowing others to help me on this journey has been such a great feeling.
The moral of the story: Even if you are a solopreneur, it is okay to admit that you need help from time to time. It will not only help expand your thinking but it can result in a better product.
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”