The Three C’s of Working Together: Connecting, Communicating and Collaborating

In March I spoke at a Sisterhood Celebration weekend at a church in Raleigh, NC.  I spoke on “Taking Off the Masks in Roles and Relationships.” This article is not a replication of my presentation; it is, however, another train of thought about our roles in relationships. I’m focusing on work relationships in this article, although I feel the points can also relate to personal relationships. 

Connecting:  We meet people under various circumstances. We never know what will come out of our meeting. There is a saying, “People come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime.” I suggest that we are open to meeting people without expectation of the purpose of the connection.   

Though I am a speaker, presenter and life coach, I am also a very strong introvert.  People are surprised and don’t believe it when I tell them that. The point is, I understand that some of you may be thinking “I’m shy” or “I’m not comfortable meeting people”, etc.  I suggest that you just allow yourself to be open to whoever may come your way. When I go to events, I set a goal to meet at least three people I don’t know.   

Communicating:  Communication is very important. Think before you speak. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” (Stephen Covey) Set expectations up front as to how you are going to interact/work together. Listen. Many people don’t listen to understand, they listen to respond (you’ve heard this many times). Become a good listener. Be open to hearing, and clarify what you have heard. 

Collaborating is being able to work with another and to cooperate. Basically, each person brings his/her knowledge, experience, skills, thoughts, etc., to a situation and, through connecting and communicating, infusing what each person brings for the benefit of the agreed upon goal.   

  • Don’t get locked into what always has been, even if you think it has worked.
  • Be open to hearing from others. Ideas can come from people you least expect. To make informed decisions, you need information; we don’t know it all.
  • Moving from “me” to “we” thinking nets better results.  Appreciate style differences. 

Ebony Speakers came together in part by using this formula.  We connected at several NSA conferences. We communicated what we were doing and where we wanted to take our messages/businesses. We collaborated and created the Ebony Speakers.   

What makes all of this work together for the good is being authentic, open, honest and vulnerable. Collaborating is very prominent these days. Connecting, communicating and collaborating can open many doors, opportunities and possibilities. 

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