Collaboration and community. These two ideals are interlinked much like the “chicken vs. egg” paradigm. The outcome of true collaboration is a sense of community. In turn, community can only be built through collaborative efforts. These two often go hand-in-hand but rarely succeed without the other.
There’s great strength in the human spirit and part of our condition is to improve and stabilize our surroundings. As individuals, we are compelled to build, solve, or create through our own sense of what’s right or what’s needed. At times, this individual drive to meet personal needs can create friction between us. But when people come together to achieve a common goal, our impact is exponentially multiplied. This is why we come together.
Collaboration takes a community mindset. It means having to put aside self-interests to act and think with the goals of the group in mind. In theory, it’s utopian. It’s an ideal state to embolden our collective strengths and mitigate our individual shortcomings. However, collaboration can be a long process. It can even feel messy and appear to be breaking down, especially when challenging moments present themselves.
True collaboration depends on skills for bringing people back around to the collective good when individual efforts fall short, group expectations don’t meet reality, or when personal resolve is tested. Collaboration requires commitment to one another in order to move forward as one. This is how community is built. This is when collaboration feels successful.
As we adjust and adapt to a collective understanding of our individual impact on a global scale, we’re perfectly primed for thinking with a community mindset.
At this moment, consider the impact you have on the communities and teams you’re a part of. Do you contribute to the common good of the group, or do you attempt to steer momentum towards personal interests? Do you work on behalf of others to ensure collective success, or do you use the venue to achieve personal goals but at the cost of others’?
Most importantly, are you able to intervene and facilitate when differing opinions or challenging moments threaten the communal will of individuals?
As you work to improve your own experiences and embolden your impact, consider the effect you have on others. In a time when exponential human impact is needed, now more than ever is the time for exploring your own propensity for collaboration and community building.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.”
– Henry Ford
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