There is a 4th way: collaboration. Instead of merely discussing problems, you may work together with others for your mutual advantage. You help your partner. Your partner helps you.
Collaboration is used by BIG companies when they form joint ventures. But collaboration truly is a means for the SMALL outfit to spread its wings. Instead of trying to be a jack-of-all-trades - there is no such thing these days - work on what you do best and enjoy, and partner with an expert or experts in fields you are not so good at and don't enjoy.
Collaboration enables you to strengthen your strengths while working on projects you ordinarily would not get. Someone else, who enjoys it, does what you can't or don't want to do. She strengthens her strengths. As partners, you may reach great heights.
> If you are a good writer and you love to write, but you can't draw a straight line, COLLABORATE with someone who is an accomplished artist, but can't write a complete sentence. The 2 of you may be able to design outstanding websites.
> If you are a hotshot programmer, but don't know how to sell your exquisite software packages, COLLABORATE with a super-salesman, who though he may not understand the details of your work, appreciates the results you produce. Though the 2 of you may be independent performers, working together you may achieve a great deal more than working individually.
> If you are an inventor who loves conceiving all sorts of gadgets but has no idea how to manufacture them, COLLABORATE with a manufacturing expert who appreciates what you do. Why not include a venture capitalist and make it a 3-way collaboration?
Finding a Collaborator
If you are typical, you are good at some things and not good doing other things. To be productively effective, all you need do is find experts at things you must get done but are not so good at. This sounds simple and easy. But it is not. People come in all shapes and varieties. Some you can work with; others you can not. The trick is to locate an expert that is suitable for you.
Among the factors to consider are the following:
> Does The Person Complement You? - Compare skills, experiences, perspectives, and working styles. Though your abilities are different, can you discuss these things with understanding? Can you mesh your working styles?
> Do You Respect Your Partner's Capabilities? - Do you have a healthy regard for what she can do? You have seen results previously achieved and you like them. At the same time, does your partner respect your work? Without this respect you will not be able to collaborate.
> Do You Have A Shared Vision And Common Values? - Do you share the same or similar goals? Do you agree on what needs to be done? Do you visualize the results to be achieved in similar ways? And your values about work, selling, profit and human relations are similar?
> Do You Trust Your Partner? - Without trust you will achieve nothing. You will spend more time in arguments than necessary. Trust is a must!
> Can You Stand To Be Critiqued?- Do you get hot under the collar when your work is critiqued? Your partner must be able to critique your work just as you should be able to critique your partner's work. Good, honest give-and-take is necessary for a fruitful collaboration.
> Can You Share The Limelight? - Must you be the top guy, or can you share credits with others? Is your ego strong enough to do this?
If both you and your partner meet these requirements, try a collaboration. Begin with something small, just to test yourselves. If you meet the test, go for it.
A successful collaboration may lead to greater accomplishments and greater business success. Each of you learns and improves, and so does the final product or service. Collaboration lifts all to a higher plane.
Collaboration is the Wave of the Future
The Internet lends itself to successful collaboration. When wireless equipment becomes more sophisticated - in a year or 2 - collaboration will be more frequent. In addition to the usual voice messages, individuals will be able to use cellphones to exchange diagrams, pictures and other data they may be working on together.
In Western countries, we have been trained to be individualistic. Self-reliance is a major virtue. But in this complex world, which daily becomes more complex, there is no way any individual can be totally self-reliant as in the past.
Individualism is great. But to be more productive and successful, we may need to cede a small amount of ego, so we may be able to collaborate effectively with others. Collaboration will become more and more the conventional way of doing things.
About The Author
Paul -the soarING- Siegel is a provocative Internet speaker and author of HELPFULNESS MARKETNG, an ebook stressing learning, cooperation and community. Learn about it at: LearningFountain.com. Subscribe to newsletter, LearningFOUNT, by sending blank email to: LearningFOUNTfirstname.lastname@example.org.