Turn 5 Collaboration Sinkers into Stimulants

Communication is the vehicle of innovative collaboration. Words can sink or stimulate innovative collaboration and teamwork.

Here are 5 real life examples of collaboration sinkers turned into stimulants with great people-skills for outstanding results.

Whether these are said live in a meeting, on a virtual conference call, or online in email/chat, change them from presuming to exploring and from limiting to expanding.

Turn Collaboration Sinkers into Stimulants Image by:Quinn Anya

Turn 5 Collaboration Sinkers into Stimulants

  1. Sinker: “The question should be …”. The word should suggests that the person who posed it, is wrong, ignorant or off base. This offense can limit collaboration.

    Stimulant:What if we asked …”. By providing an alternate question with what if, you explore and expand without limiting others’ contributions.

  2. Sinker: “Don’t you think …”. Nothing great ever comes after this phrase because it is a statement masquerading as a question.

    Stimulant: “What do you think about …” opens dialogue and true listening.

  3. Sinker: “Relax, calm down …”. When people work together, respect for individual styles is critical to the trust needed for collaboration.

    Stimulant: Accept diverse styles to stimulate collaboration.

  4. Sinker: “Don’t take me where I don’t want to go”. Often said by leaders when extremely different ideas emerge. It sinks collaboration because it sounds directive.

    Stimulant: Establish the parameters and criteria up front so that all can work knowledgeably within them.

  5. Sinker: “We have already finalized. Why are you bringing up new ideas?”

    Stimulant: This is a common collaboration conflict between doers (aka implementers) and innovators. To foster innovative collaboration, try “Given the deadline and parameters, shall we proceed with this plan and use that idea in the next revision?”

When do these sinkers emerge?
Perhaps when people …

    are results driven
    feel insecure or threatened
    are on a dysfunctional team with issues
    lack effective leadership
    face unrealistic deadlines

Being aware of these and other difficult conditions empowers each of us to watch for sinkers and replace them with stimulants — for outstanding collaborative results.

Yours in service,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™

©2011 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email info@katenasser.com. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, workshops, keynotes, and DVDs that turn interaction obstacles into interpersonal success for customer service, collaboration, teamwork, and leading change. Fill the gaps of diversity with business wins! See this site for workshops outlines and customer results.

One Response to “Turn 5 Collaboration Sinkers into Stimulants”

  1. JoniD says:

    Too true! Effective communication skills are often lacking – HOW things are said is often the most important part of the message.

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