Our understanding of the world is greatly limited.

Big challenges bring great complexity and a greater need to gather others’ perspectives.

Collaboration builds stronger relationships and buy-in.

“Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds.” Alexander Graham Bell

Do you truly want to see what you don’t currently see? Confirmation bias, or seeking out information that validates our current beliefs, can disguise itself as curiosity and collaboration. This can create the Illusion of Collusion.

Your Robot can perceive collaboration as a threat to the Familiar Zone and sound alarms to avoid it.

We may also be hesitant to deeply collaborate out of fear of looking like we don’t already know.

Lastly, collaboration can be a clever way to avoid making a decision or having others to share the blame with.

The benefits of collaboration are making better decisions and building stronger relationships and buy-in.

Collaboration does take more time, at least in the short-term. If it leads to a better decision, it can save time later. But not always.

We have to do the cost/benefit analysis for the time investment required for collaboration. We simply don’t have enough time to collaborate on everything, or even most things.

Questions to ask about this:

  • Who has a viewpoint other than mine?
  • Am I choosing someone just because they agree with me?
  • Will they tell me the truth?
  • Have I built enough emotional capital to ask them?
  • What are my blind spots and who can see past them?
  • What skills don’t I have?

  1. State your intention to listen and learn and to be here to collect information, not necessarily decide.
  2. State your issue.
  3. State your preferences or bias. If you know what you already want to do, ask for help to make sure you are not just confirming that.
  4. Listen, take notes, ask questions, and practice active listening. Manage debates to avoid ideas being pushed aside or people not feeling safe to offer their point of view.

Others invested their time and energy to help you, make sure you show your appreciation by letting them know what the outcome was. This prevents the Illusion of Inclusion and builds Emotional Capital.