The Collaborative Mindset

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 Introduction

The collaborative mindset involves the subsequent engagement of various key stakeholders of any organization in the decision-making process. It allows the various individuals to air out their views and assumptions concerning various actions that are part of our daily activities. It is by understanding the various ideas and assumptions that are presented by various individuals that a collaborative mindset is achieved. Collaborative mindset is often achieved by appreciating the relationships among workmates in the workplace as well as respecting the ideas presented by others.


 Discussion

1. Collaboration and crucial conversation

Conversations in the form of dialogue, negotiations and discussions are quite crucial in the attainment of the collaborative mindset. These crucial conversations are only deemed as successful after adoption of a respectful mind by both parties who are involved in the conversation. A respectful mind calls for open minded individuals who are wiling and eager to understand the ideas presented by colleagues. Such respect also calls for accepting differences which arise in the course of the debate or dialogue and this should not be accompanied by devaluing of the other person’s opinion. Therefore, prejudice and negative judgment are not part of the crucial conversation as these may hinder any effort that had been put in place by the individual to obtain information Stumpf, and Nevins (1999).


Individuals who are known to carry out meaningful conversations are usually good listeners who take their time to understand the opinions which have been raised by the other party before responding.  People are often offended by conversations which are not productive especially where one was seeking information form the other yet the objectives are not being realized. In order for any manager to carry out meaningful conversations with the other employees the proper channels and attributes of an effective communication strategies must be put in place Gosling and Mintzberg (2003).


 2. Collaborative thinking

Collaborative thinking tends to put in place the various thinking capacities of employees in an organization. It involves giving adequate time to allow the internal and external thinkers to come up with ideas which are relevant to the organization. After the time span has expired, all suggestions are tabled and intense discussions follow such that the pros and cons of every opinion are identified. Leaders of various organizations should respect the opinions presented by various employees such that the fast thinkers as well as those who take time to think are able to complement each other Stumpf, (1999).Collaborative thinking engages ideas from various dimensions such that it allows for achievement of better and faster results.


Incorporation of employees in the decision-making process ensures that all aspects of ideas are considered and it promotes employee commitment as their presence and contribution is appreciated. This motivates the workers as well as enhancing the relationship among the various levels of employees Stumpf, (1999).Brainstorming is a key element of collaborative thinking which is aimed at increasing the creativity of the group by reducing social inhibitions which are exemplified by failure of employees to engage in the decision-making process. Brainstorming leads to generation of new ideas which later on has a positive impact in the development of dynamic synergies Gosling (2003).


 3. Communication & Collaboration

Collaborative communication enables people to communicate effectively even though they may be presenting quite disagreeing opinions. This form of agreement allows the parties which were holding the discussion to avoid conflicts as well as creating suitable ground for applying understanding and respect for the views form different sides Collins and O’Rourke (2008).Dialogue is the most efficient as well as common mode of communication in most organizations. Therefore, it is important for the top leaders in any organization to cultivate dialogue as a sustained organizational practice in the workplace. This involves a clear understanding of the body language of the speaker to avoid mixed signals as well as focusing the listeners mind on what is being said to motivate the speaker to talk. Similarly, communication is never one way such that an indication from the listener that they are following the trail of thoughts being portrayed by the speaker is important Collins (2008).Communication is the key to solving many problems which may turn out to be big with time. Managers who have adopted communication as part of the every day running of organizations are able to understand the problems affecting the employees as well as those affecting the overall organization such that they are always up dated on such issues Stumpf, (1999).


 4. Collaboration &conflict

In the collaborative mindset, it is unethical for managers to solve issues at the workplace by yelling at employees or at fellow managers. This problem solving technique leads to hatred as well as the employees developing a habit of avoiding their colleagues who exhibit the behavior hence, lowering the productivity of the workers Collins (2008).Collaboration calls for equal interest in both groups which are involved in the conflict such that both groups are given equal chances to air out their opinions and after that the opinions are matched with those of the other side. Each side is allowed to embrace the suggestion which will benefit the whole organization and this reduces any prejudice or bad feeling as each side is given an equal opportunity to present its idea Collins (2008).The criterion used in collaborative conflict solving is not only ethical but it also respects the feelings of the opposing sides thus boosting employee-employee relationships.


 5. Trust& Retention

Trust and its retention are quite crucial especially after employees have been through a conflict resolution episode. The solution providers should always be a disciplined individual who appreciates and portrays professional accountability. They should also portray high levels of honesty and competency by carefully listening to both sides of the conflict before laying down the ruling Stumpf, and Nevins (1999).Consequently, they should never take sides as such an occurrence will make the other side of the of the group loose trust in him/her. Therefore, respect for what each party has to say in addition to provision of adequate time to present the defending side is crucial in retention of trust and confidence in the individual. This also incorporates the ability to keep secret the proceedings of the process as well as the details that are presented by both parties such that the parties are able to trust the intentions of the organization when they realize that issues concerting their conflicts are not shared out to everyone Collins (2008).


 6. Collaborative coaching

Collaborative coaching engages the services of a coach and a client working together towards achievement of the set goals and objectives. The two parties work together such that the outcome is determined by the ability of the two parties to identify their weaknesses and strengths towards attainment of their goals Williams, (2009).Collaborative coaching cannot be achieved if the client and the worker are not wiling to arrive at a compromising situation at various times in the course of the session. However, discipline in the sessions as well as respect for the opinions and ideologies presented by either party is crucial in the rigorous sessions which are quite demanding. Application of good communication skills as well as building trust between the two parties is also crucial Williams, (2009).


 References

Collins, S.D. and O’Rourke, J. S. (2008), managing conflicts and workplace                                   relationships. 2nd ed. Cengage learning

Gosling J. and Mintzberg, H.. (2003), The five minds of a manager. Harvard business                    review. Vol. 81(11) , pp. 54-63

Stumpf, S.A. and Nevins D.M. (1999), 21st century leadership: redefining management     education: educating managers in the modern era. Journal of Strategy+ business. Iss.16

Williams, J. F. (2009), A collaborative mindset. Retrieved on May 24, 2010 form   www.crosscollaborative.com.


 

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