Collaborative Thinking: Do You See Problem Solving as Collaboration?

When you face a problem, do you solve it collaboratively? Is collaborative thinking your norm or do you default to solo thinking? If your view of life is you calling all the shots, you may have far less success and happiness.

Collaborative Thinking: Image is interlocking hinges.

Collaborative Thinking: Do You Solve Problems w/ Collaboration? Image by Thomas Hawk

Image by Thomas Hawk via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Collaborative Thinking: Is It a Struggle For You?

My inspiration for this article on collaboration thinking came from the article Why Young Men Want Wives Who Stay Home. This sudden uptick after many years of men seeing things more collaboratively caught my eye. The author of the article notes the problem these young men may be trying to solve: feeling that they lost out when both their parents were out working.

Their way of solving the problem fascinates me. They don’t think of collaborating with their future wives. The don’t consider discussing various ways to give children the attention they need. Moreover, collaborative thinking isn’t even in the picture. They have decided alone that one parent should be out working, one should stay home, and that one person will be the mother. They even believe they get to make that decision.

We could write off this non collaborative thinking as immaturity. We could assume they will change their minds.

In any case, it reminds us of the risks of defaulting to authoritarian solo thinking:

  • Leaders who do this disengage employees
  • Leaders that block other’s input make a large number of faulty decisions
  • Leaders who treat people like pawns see greater turnover
  • Project managers who behave like dictators don’t attract top talent on future projects
  • Team members who don’t collaborate are forced off teams
  • Sales people who don’t listen to customers don’t sell much

Clearly, solo thinking and authoritarian behavior doesn’t lead to career success. Likewise, hoarding power doesn’t make you a powerful leader. All of this makes you look insecure, selfish, immature, and weak. On the other hand, collaborative thinking shows inner strength, emotional intelligence, and insight.

I wonder if the young men noted in the article see the damage their solo thinking will create in their careers. Well if not, here’s to all of us collaborative thinkers who will be leading them!

What can trap any of us into solo views vs. collaborative thinking?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
The Opposite of Leader is Not Follower
20 Common People Skills Mistakes That Drive People Away From You

©2017 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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2 Responses to “Collaborative Thinking: Do You See Problem Solving as Collaboration?”

  1. Awesome post Kate. A great reminder not to go through this journey of problem solving alone. We are experts in our fields…. but we are not THE expert! We must keep our eyes and mind open and remember that together we are stronger. And when there is team effort, there is definitely more buy-in! I appreciate your leadership Kate!

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