Gratitude in Collaboration
I think Mother Teresa said it best, “You can do what I cannot do. I can do what you cannot do. Together we can do great things.”
Being okay with not knowing how to do something can be hard. Admitting it and letting other people in on that fact can be scary; however, finding a support network of collaborators can be liberating. This takes guts and humility. Finding our gratitude for the expertise of others plays a significant role in promoting better teamwork, builds employee engaged organizations and makes us stronger individuals, contributors, and leaders.
I am asked by clients all the time about how to motivate employees and teams. Studies have shown that gratitude plays a significant role in increasing employee satisfaction, teamwork, and collaboration. When we express our gratitude for what a person brings to their work, it reinforces the behaviors we wish to see, and those behaviors will be replicated. Employees that not only feel gratitude, but also express gratitude, are more motivated to spend time working together and improving.
So, why is collaboration so beneficial?
1. It brings people, teams, and organizations together. Putting mixed skills together to work on a project creates a common purpose between different disciplines, supports the development of relationships and connections for future work, and breaks down silos.
2. People learn from each other and will problem solve, be accountable and will find creative solutions. When people are given the opportunity to share or “pool” knowledge, skills, and expertise, and talk through problems and potential solutions, the results are better outcomes, group accountability and objectives move forward. The more perspectives and expertise from different areas increases the ability for people to learn, spot the blind spots and be creative in the solutions that drive results.
3. It leads to higher retention rates. Collaborators learn from successes, mistakes, and failures and they get the opportunity to hear different perspectives, priorities and the way people think and process information. This is invaluable and creates an engaging culture that is appealing to both current and future employees and will go a long way toward preventing employees from leaving an organization. Employees want to work with people they trust and with people that respect their expertise and points of view.
Like Mother Teresa, instead of seeing a lack of skill set in ourselves, approach your work with gratitude for what you cannot do and what others can do. If you have not found gratitude in collaboration, I challenge you to try it.
I will close with a quote from Amy Poehler, “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life forever.” I will add, it can also change the world around you, and I am forever grateful to have the amazing C Suite advisors as collaborators that inspire and push me forward every day. Collaboration should not be the last resort rather it should be a go-to solution. Will collaboration be your go to?