- spend more time relating, listening, recognizing patterns and experimenting with ideas
- come to better know each other's interests, motivations, beliefs and biases
- realize what resources and value each brings to the collaboration
- discover which ways of interacting bring out of the best in each other
The second "slow growth" dimension is the ability of each participant to collaborate. Whether we call this a skill set, aptitude, competency, trait or talent, it's something that can be cultivated. However, like plants in our gardens and on our window ledges, this ability can also be destroyed by taking the wrong approach. When we realize we can "kill the collaboration", we can catch ourselves neglecting or overdoing something, assuming incorrectly, or insisting in something that worsens the relationship. We improve our chances of success when we presume the collaboration takes its own time to improve.
These two facets can be mutually reinforcing. The more individuals bring to the collaboration, the better they will work together. The more mature the collaborative process becomes, the more the individuals will evolve their abilities to collaborate. The reverse is also true: the worse the process of collaboration, the worse the collaborators will become individually which will further deteriorate how they work together.
The way I am recommending here it realize the best of both facets is to:
- regard both the ways of working together and the individual abilities as "slow growth" processes
- render the potential pitfalls conscious and topics of mutual discussion
- expect the two dimensions to feed each other for better or for worse
- call timeouts to review how individuals and the collaboration are evolving
I'll return here next Monday. Happy Holidays everyone!