We hear this word day-in day-out in different forms, it has several synonyms. Team work, working together, cooperation etc etc.. and why? Collaboration underlines the universal fact that human beings are social animals, that we are all connected and we need to work together to succeed.
Your very existence is because your mom and dad collaborated, you joined a particular school because the Government collaborated with some individuals to setup that school, your syllabus is the result of collaboration, in some cases you collaborate to write the exams :), preferably you collaborate while preparing for exams and then you arrive at the first day of your first job… instantly forgetting “collaboration”. Its suddenly all about your career, your promotion, your salary increase and your growth !!! Its fascinating that suddenly collaboration no longer is easy because you feel by collaborating you will give more than you are able to take, that your unique skill when shared will be adopted by someone else and you don’t have any other unique skills and the gains are so little that you wont get even a sliver if you collaborate.
Think of what you get when you collaborate – your ideas get refined, new risks identified, funds organized, learnings galore.. and everyone wants to work with you. Sure, your name may not go up on the plaque for that one great idea sometimes and you may have to share the glory of the podium, but think of the celebration – alone or with people ? Its an easy choice to choose collaboration at all times, keep aside the fear, keep aside the “who gets the credit” thought, keep aside all else except that your idea should find life. Imagine the Independence struggle without collaboration? Or abolishing the Apartheid without collaboration?
When you develop your ability to collaborate you stand out because it’s a competency that helps you lead people. So collaborate, learn if you don’t know how and have a photo finish to all that you do. The pros outweigh the cons.