The definition of collaboration means to work together, especially on a goal or shared project.
When they work, collaborations are the perfect path to solidify existing business relationships.
Everyone needs to collaborate.
It’s teamwork, it’s mutually beneficial.
What might surprise you is, it isn’t about give and take.
Choosing your partners carefully and respectfully should be win-win.
Where do collaborators hang out?
The best place to find people to collaborate with is through attending networking events, in person.
Attending events in person means you get a real insight into everyone else in the room.
You get the feeling for someone in the flesh, whether they’re a bit of a knob, or not!
You can’t collaborate or work with someone you don’t like; it can’t work.
So how do you get to know people fast?
But what you can do is pay attention, have conversations, and listen to people when they speak.
Hearing someone speak from an experience they’ve had, how they present themselves, their business, and what they stand for is how we connect as humans, it’s how we decide who we want to work with.
So, the absolute first thing we must do is show up.
How do I know who to collaborate with?
Excellent collaborators know it’s not about them.
They’re in it for the long haul, they know that relationships strengthen over time and they’re prepared to put in the work.
Excellent collaborators are also excellent networkers and excellent networkers are great listeners which makes them really good at introducing the people they meet, to people that can help them.
Walking into a room full of people can be daunting so the key to successful conversations is to be prepared.
Excellent networkers do their homework.
They’re people people, they’ll spend a bit of time researching the people they’re likely to meet.
They pre-arm themselves with knowledge which gives excellent networkers an advantage, they’ve taken the time to show they care which in turn promotes trust.
Be prepared to help… it’s not about you.
Without even making it a deliberate decision, they are already collaborating.
Because giving encourages reciprocity, people are inclined to give back, so it becomes a give-give relationship the people they help, help them in return.
Successful collaboration relies on both sides being willing to give as much as possible.
It isn’t about give and take.
Good, clear communication is the heart of all successful collaborations.
There needs to be mutual trust, a belief in a common cause, an understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses, and the willingness to share.
Before they know it, true collaborators and excellent networkers create an army of people who will be asking themselves the same questions.
What can they do for you?
What can we build together?