Leadership Mindset

Fire up your collaborative spirit for 5 good reasons

2020 has had some tough moments I’m not going to lie. If lockdown has had you feeling a bit like this at times….  No alt text provided for this image

I can highly recommend a collaborative project to get you feeling a little more like this….

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2020 will be memorable for many reasons. For me, one of the really positive achievements I will take away from this year is the collaborative project to write and publish a business book ‘Good work, Good business’ – practical people strategies for a changing world.

For many, we’ve been hunkered down for the last few months, working, homeschooling and some days just surviving.  Introvert or extrovert, the loss of human interaction is what has made lockdown a challenge for most.

As part of a team of 10, we collaborated to write and publish a book, supported by Jo Hutchinson and her editorial expertise. Like many, I’ve had a yearning to write a book (and still would like to write a whole book one day). This experience has taught me what it would take to write a whole book as the journey to write a chapter was a little like lockdown itself, it had its ups and downs. 

With application, determination, team effort, words of encouragement, some cajoling, and a lot of laughs along the way, we achieved the goal, and doing it as part of a team made me realise a lot about the power and benefit of collaborating on a project with others;

1.     Improving the outcome – this is I guess the ultimate goal of collaborating, as the saying goes two minds are better than one.  The initial thought was that we are all experts in our own field, so what could anyone else to our own chapter, and indeed, what could I add to anyone else’s chapter. What an understatement!  During the process, we had a chapter buddy who journeyed with us as our chapters evolved from a chapter outline to a draft version to a draft version number 2, 3, 4, 5, and to a finalized version.  

Getting someone else’s perspective and benefit from their experience not only helped the development of my chapter but also gives a perspective on the chapter from a reader’s perspective. The feedback they can offer is invaluable as it’s easy to forget when writing even a chapter, who it’s for.

2.     Learning – in writing the book, we all brought a different area of skill or expertise. We had our own focus and our own chapter to write, however, the goal of finishing and publishing the book was the goal that united us as a team. The opportunity for discussion with others, who have a different view, perspectives, ideas, and experience leads to clarification and evaluation of ideas as they questioned and sought clarification on my ideas. It really forces you into a thought process and a depth of thought that you may not automatically go.

 3.     Motivation – I would never have achieved the goal in the timescale, without the collaboration on this project. There was a point where my chapter had lost its direction and I was just exasperated by it.  On one of our regular check-in meetings, my urge was to say ‘it’s fine’ but I didn’t, I was completely honest. I had the realisation that actually everyone was experiencing the same thing. Maybe not at the same time exactly, but with a bit of honesty from us all when we were struggling and words of encouragement from the team, I soldiered on. 

To be able to share this with others, was a mood lightener and the impact on my productivity was hugely positive.     

4.     Growing my network – I didn’t know everyone in the group when we started, and in the initial phase of team development, the relationships work on quite a transactional level. The longer we worked together on this project, it creates a shared experience going through the same experience together. As an extroverted thinker, there were so many benefits on this level for me. I got to know people, build and strengthen relationships, work through with someone when I got stuck, and we had a proper laugh along the way.

We got to support each other, challenge each other, cajole each other, persuade each other, encourage each other and a project is like a journey that is shared by a group of people and that is something we will always share. 

5.     Achieving the goal – what a moment. We got to celebrate this one with a little glass of something. What a sense of relief and celebration.   Yeah!! We had published a book, we’d achieved what we set out to achieve. The enthusiasm and momentum lasted long beyond the completion of the book itself and impacted on other areas of life too.  I guess what was really important was to find that moment at the end of the project where we got to acknowledge what we’d achieved and really just take a moment to acknowledge each other and celebrate our success. The fact we got to do that as part of a team made it that bit more special!

Here’s what the rest of the team got from the experience

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I’d love to hear about your collaborative projects and what you’ve got from them. Drop me a line, or a comment below and let me know.

Many Thanks, Sian

Sian Perham is a sought after Leadership specialist for Leaders in Business. She has helped hundreds of leaders realise their leadership potential;

“The individual leadership coaching was done is a very engaging and honest way, ensuring that she really understood the person before tailoring the coaching to that individual’s needs. This is something that seems to be a rarity amongst leadership coaches and ensured that the coaching was very effective.”
“Sian used ‘real life examples’ to explain concepts and made it easy to relate what she was saying to your own situation. She helped me look inwards at myself and assess how I deal with people, and has certainly given me the confidence, and skills to take me forwards.”
“The Mindset module was fantastic and Sian provided lots of tools and techniques that I can use to motivate and engage my team. Highly recommended.”

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