Stick with this article to the end as it deserves a wide circulation.
For a middle aged man like me, at least, there are quite a few phrases early on in Dr Jen O'Ryan's piece that I hadn't heard before and which raised the hackles, but suddenly the light dawned that this isn't a hackneyed man-bash but actually has some really interesting things to say about collaboration, and in particular the important idea that effective collaboration requires an approach to discussion and debate which makes space for every voice.
CEDR's own Guidance for Collaborative Working contains some useful pointers for teams and their leaders on how they can engage together and identify any areas for potential improvement, particularly around conflict behaviours, and this article reinforces one of the key leadership lessons about empowering your team.
Amit Ray wrote that “collaboration has no hierarchy. The Sun collaborates with soil to bring flowers on the earth”
Or, as Jen O'Ryan says: "keep in mind that promoting collaboration and visibility is not about you, it’s about them. Ensuring that everyone on the team has space to shine does not make you a hero; it makes you a leader"
Graham Massie is a member of CEDR Chambers, a panel of highly experienced mediators with proven excellence in providing mediation, training and consultancy services to clients.
Collaboration is different from cooperation, much in the same way diversity is vastly different than inclusion. Cooperation sounds good, but can contribute to mediocre results and lower overall satisfaction. Collaboration requires an open space to explore ideas and different perspectives. It also introduces a healthy use of conflict and encourages people to challenge assumptions or biased thinking.