Collaboration grows out of connection. Because connection (and thus collaboration) is ephemeral and cannot be coerced, we get lost when we think we can get what we want in the world by forcing others to bend to our will. Therefore, whether we are parents, leaders in our community, team members at work, political or military leaders and actors, attempting to get what we want by imposing our will does not give us the results we want in the end. By using force, we perhaps can get someone to do what we want them to do, but we can’t get them to do it for the reasons we want them to do it.
And so I return to this concept of connection, from which comes trust and from trust, collaboration.
Connection begins with myself, without which I’m not able to connect with others. So it follows, that, at the first indication that I’ve become disconnected from myself, I want to focus my attention on reconnection. There are a number of strategies you can use to create self-connection and in later posts I will discuss those strategies, as well as how to become quickly aware when you have become disconnected from yourself.
Similarly, at the moment we discern disconnection from another, I suggest immediately shifting our focus to re-creating connection. This connection with others, whether they are friends, partners, children, co-workers or strangers will give you a better chance to get what you want in the present moment, and on a larger scale, create what you want in the world and have the impact that you want. It is this connection that is the gateway to true collaboration.
(Read more about the power of connection in my book From Conflict To Connection:Transforming Difficult Conversations into Peaceful Resolutions, the latest in the Mediate Your Life series, A Guide to Removing Barriers to Communication
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