Nod your head if you’ve ever worked on a collaborative project, and ego-driven contributors stifled your creative flow. You were excited to dish out your ideas, but you were getting “that vibe” from the group. That “you’re ideas are low-key, trash” vibe. You’re getting the looks and the short responses. So you slowly begin to checkout from the project. But, you keep dishing out ideas and pushing through your emotions, and you whisper to yourself, “I’m creative because David Kelley said so.”
Those types of collaborative experiences suck!
Working with others can be challenging and mentally exhausting. As a young creative, I’ve found this to be true; that many creatives desire spaces to create, make mistakes, and, most importantly, try. Just without the “vibe.” Fortunately, in a graciously weird way, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a shift in the way traditional creatives collaborate.
Good collaboration should invite perspectives that cultivate more elaborate ideas and possibilities; this is the epitome of design thinking. Advocating for different and unique perspectives is a must, and having people that understand that idea is even more of a necessity. Collaboration isn’t about dominating the project, a meeting, or an individual. Collaboration is about cultivating and motivating others to dig deep within themselves to think differently and welcome others to voice their ideas. But here’s the thing about collaborating with the right people. No one idea, on the first shot, is “the one,” so be encouraged to build on top of an idea.
Switch things up! Environments to collaboration are like traveling to a college student. An area that stimulates imagination, playfulness, and safety elevates the way people collaborate. Having individuals who want to tackle challenges, provide input, be a part of the solution, want to hear other perspectives makes the collaborative experience inspiring and progressive.
I’ve found that these components make collaboration powerful. Lastly, removing our ego and detaching emotional ties to rejection will do more good than harm. So, moving forward, try to remember this saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”