To be successful in business and life, it is necessary to collaborate with others, but we need to pay attention to some key factors if we want to achieve optimal results. Whether collaboration means taking on a business partner or joining forces with another business owner to launch a product, if you want to flourish, you have to know who you are, what your goals are and what you bring to the table.
“I have found no greater satisfaction than achieving success through honest dealing and strict adherence to the view that, for you to gain, those you deal with should gain as well.”
- Alan Greenspan
In addition to the fun video that Susan Kay Wyatt and I created above, here are 5 more tips for successful collaboration:
- Pay attention to red flags. If someone has a history of past partnerships gone wrong, that is an indication that there may be some rough waters ahead for you. If you choose to move ahead knowing that there is the potential for problems to arise with this partnership, start with the end in mind and create your separation agreement from Day 1.
- Be up front about what you are hoping to achieve by collaborating. If this partnership is to support a product launch or a joint venture, make sure that this union is a win-win for everyone and be honest with yourself and your co-creator about what your expectations are.
- Know your roles and clearly document them. No matter what the scenario, make sure that any time you collaborate with someone, you know who is supposed to fulfill what duties, when and why and create a written agreement that outlines these roles.
- Create a plan that outlines your beginning, middle and end goals and deadlines. In business, it is critical to operate from the perspective of the end goal. Know what everyone involved wants to achieve and create benchmarks and objectives that are trackable and measurable. Create a rewards system for goals that are met on time or ahead of schedule met and contingency plans for missteps that are likely to happen.
- Respect and honor your collaborator, his/her dreams and your dreams. No matter what happens in a partnership, treating each other with respect, honor and kindness is essential. Life is not easy and there will be times when challenges arise. Expect this. And expect that there will be things that will happen that you could never have anticipated. When you decide to collaborate with someone, honor that commitment and show up in the best way possible. If you aren’t willing to do the right thing for others and yourself, then partnership or collaboration may not be the right thing for you.
“What I know for sure is that behind every catastrophe, there are great lessons to be learned. Among the many that we as a country need to get is that as long as we play the “us and them” game, we don’t evolve as people, as a nation, as a planet.”
- Oprah Winfrey
Do you have any tips for a successful collaboration? Please leave your thoughts, questions or ideas in the comments and thank YOU for collaborating in this conversation!