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Collaboration Takes Courage

leadership Jun 14, 2021

What does courage have to do with collaboration? Everything!

Every workplace has problems, yet, oftentimes, problems are swept under the rug or ignored until they escalate into a crisis. You're still faced with dealing with the issue, only now many more resources must be mobilized to fight a full-blown 5-alarm fire.

Ignored problems don't go away--they grow in size, complexity, and impact.

It's your job as a professional to keep watch for problems -- whether in yourself, on your team, in your department, or in your organization. Once you identify a problem, this is where courage comes in. Do you have the courage to do something about the issue you've identified, or, will you ignore it, writing it off as someone else's problem, until it becomes an even bigger problem?

If you are determined to have the kind of workplace where you're able to make contributions every day, and feel a sense of satisfaction and energy about your work, you must have a plan to address problems:

  1. Identify the most important problem or challenge you are facing.
  2. Who do you need to talk to about this problem?
  3. Why does this problem matter to this person? i.e. Why would they want to talk to you about it?
  4. What are the priorities of this person? How does this problem impact their priorities?
  5. How can you speak his or her language to show you care about their priorities?
  6. Are there words or actions you could take to earn their confidence?