The cost of collaboration is real. When we can’t do what we want when we want simply because we want to, it slows us down. Slowing us down can delay implementation and frustrate momentum. Our agenda, or at least the pace of accomplishment, is sacrificed for buy-in from others with a unique perspective which may not align with our desires.
That cost is part of the design. It’s what keeps us from assuming a throne where we were never intended to sit. As a result, we get to work with others through influence, not just positional mandate. We avoid the destructive fade through the collaborative design of relational influence.
- Collaboration protects people. From our own limited perspective we will believe our intuition to be valid beyond its actual credibility. We’ll do stuff because we’ve convinced and we’ll take others with us. That stuff may or may not be healthy or good, but without a collaborative process of refinement we’ll never see our blind spots. Those blind spots are where people get hurt.
- Collaboration creates offense. When we interact with others in a way that includes healthy disagreement, the unhealthy stuff within us gets worked out. That requires forgiveness as a recipient as well as a giver. We get to work through the offenses to build strong, healthy relationships but that takes time and costs emotion where we might otherwise be addressing our agenda.
- Collaboration requires compromise. We simply won’t get everything we want. We’ll have to bend to allow for other perspectives to have a meaningful place. We get to give. That’s a gift in and of itself.
- Collaboration requires and fosters humility. We aren’t always right and when others are truly invited in to tell us so, it chips away at our ego. That can sting and it’s good. If we give place to pride, it will grow into a narcissistic need to be affirmed through the thing that was intended for selfless service. Without collaboration, we’ll think it’s about us.
We’ll be left with a mission that is subject to the refinement of diversity. We’ll have to give, but ultimately we’ll get. If we’ll realize that we are a part of the puzzle, we can enjoy the beauty of the pieces fitting together and avoid the destructive traps of total control. That’s part of the design for our destiny as the Designer loves us, too, and doesn’t want us to be hurt just as much as He doesn’t want us to hurt others.