I would like to explain the three elements of The Collaboration Effect to address both conflicts and collaboration. Is conflict blocking your results? Would you like to be more productive, more profitable, and have more pleasure? Then you will want to take advantage of The Collaboration Effect by connecting relationships, listening actively, and educating judiciously to build bridges and negotiate closure. The Collaboration Effect enhances relationships, resources, and results. In other words, by taking advantage of The Collaboration Effect you will be better as a person, your firm will perform better, you will be able to interact better with difficult people, and you will have better results with others with improved collaboration.


What is The Collaboration Effect?


The Collaboration Effect is a process based on neuroscience that involves three elements. The first element is really connecting with others. It starts with you attitude. You have to be confident, competent, and calm. You need to be positive and develop trust by being straightforward, open, accepting, and responsible. The second element requires listening actively. You tend to want to demonstrate how interesting you are. Instead, be interested in the other party rather than trying to be interesting. The third element is educating judiciously. Educating judiciously is not about letting the other party know how smart you are or all that you know on a topic. Rather educating judiciously is about educating them the way they want to be educated. Each of these elements are elaborated on below but keep in mind for better collaboration you need to:

  • Be confident and know what you bring to the discussion
  • Operate with integrity and honesty
  • Look for common values
  • Have goals and timelines
  • Address conflicts timely and openly, and celebrate success

Connecting relationships


Connecting with others may be in person, virtually, over the phone, or in a text. In all instances have a positive professional attitude and be there to help. Smile whether you can be seen or not. This will be reflected in your tone as well as your facial expression. Smiling will even impact your commentary. Listen and respond empathetically. Feel their pain. Share their optimism. Develop an open emotional connection with questions or statements like:

  • What have you been thinking about lately?
  • I am happy we can share time today.
  • What are working on lately?
  • Please share your story with me.
  • What has been going with you?
  • What is most important to you that we talk about today?

Before initiating contact do an online search ahead of time with LinkedIn, Facebook, a Google search and more. Network with your team, peers, outside connections and other sources. Learn all you can about the other person searching for areas of common interest or background to connect on values. Explore ways in which you can engage the other party with common concerns. Your goal is to have a connecting relationship to build trust. Trust is fundamental to connecting with others. Once you have positively connected with the other party focus on listening actively.


Listening Actively


Listening begins with preparation. Check your assumptions. You do not know what you do not know. Be curious about the other party and their concerns. Suspend your own judgment. Focus on the other party. Pay attention to their words, their tone, their facial expressions, and their body language. Explore your own words, tone, facial expressions, and body language to demonstrate that you are empathizing with 100% focus on their commentary. Take notes. Be engaged fully in listening.

  • Paraphrase
  • Summarize
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Empathize

Demonstrate that you focused on what the other party is saying and try summarizing what they said in your own words. Try and summarize what the other party has stated even better than they stated it themselves. Continue to ask open ended (not yes-no) questions to allow the other party to expand on the facts, issues, their feelings, and interests. Listen with empathy. By being interested in the other party and asking open ended questions you can identify common interests and values. When a person has been listened to, they are far more receptive to listening to you. Listening promotes collaboration.

Let the other party finish their thoughts. Do not interrupt. Share what you heard in your own words. Clarify and ask if this is what the other party was intending. Continue to ensure that you understand. This even works with difficult people.         

After connecting and listening you can begin to educate judiciously.


Educating Judiciously


Educating judiciously means that you understand the other party’s interests, and based on those interests, you are prepared to either ease their pain or provide them with benefits (happiness) in a manner that they prefer to receive the information. Do not take over. Rather know what you want. Ask for it. Have three reasons why this is beneficial for them. Prepare these three items ahead of time and modify these based on you having built a relationship and having listened to them. Then be quit and let the other party talk. Answer their questions.

Be careful here. Your natural inclination having worked to build a connecting relationship and having listened to the other party is to jump in and share all you know. Control this urge. Use your emotional intelligence, your listening intelligence, and your conversational intelligence to focus on them. Answer their questions. Do not be afraid of silence. Let them think and respond to you. Above all remain calm, confident, and competent.


Bringing it all together


The underlying foundation of The Collaboration effect is trust.

Be authentic.

By operating with integrity and honesty with a straightforward mannerism you will build trust. Be open. Be transparent with the other party. Share a story, an experience, or something else to emotionally connect with the other person. Be accepting and stay above the line. Do not be tempted into negative or blaming commentary. Be responsible. Help to mutually develop goals and timelines.

By connecting relationships, listening actively, and educating judiciously you are applying the three elements of The Collaboration Effect. Now you are ready to interact and negotiate closure. Negotiating closure involves negotiating the process including benchmarks and deadlines, coming up for air, and when needed bringing on a fresh face. Make sure you have left ample time for the discussion, breaks, hydration, nutrition, and small talk. Being engaging or make sure you bring on someone with you that can be engaging with the other party. This will help.

Make sure you have the right people involved.

You need decision makers for the negotiation. Work with trusted partners.

A good deal with someone that cannot be trusted may be no deal at all. Make sure this is someone you want to work with now and in the future. When needed make sure to take a break. If working with difficult people in a negotiation make sure you are prepared to work with difficult people. Check out my blogs on negotiation and with working with difficult people. I think you will find these helpful.

Reach out to me with any questions or concerns or if you are looking for a dynamic, interactive, educational, and entertaining speaker on my latest book, The Collaboration Effect give me a call at my direct line at 651-633-5311.

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]