By now, hopefully you’ve caught up on what I told you about the elevator pitch and what I think about creativity. Which leaves me at part 2 of this series, collaboration. It’s actually funny when I think about collaboration, because college-aged Casey hated working in groups. It seemed like there was always someone slacking their way through a project, and surprise, surprise, not much is different in the professional world! Just kidding, to an extent! In our organization, I find that even when we approach project collaboratively, there’s a whole lot that has to be delegated when it comes to execution and who’s responsible for which action item. But even despite the fact some plates leave the table fuller than others, I know I thrive in a collaborative work environment.
My experience with collaboration in the workplace was originally something I sought to build my confidence in situations. I would seek validation from my boss and/or colleagues in just about every situation. When I hit conflict, I would immediately run to my boss’s office, summarize the story, and seek her nod of approval before actually moving forward in any given direction. Three years later, this has changed some. Three years later, here are three things I’ve learned from collaboration:
- Conflict resolution is a healthy part of working together. I say this, and I truly mean it. I could provide countless examples as to how working through conflict yielded in a stronger working relationship, greater confidence between coworkers, and a better product – whatever that may be. But you’ll have to stay tuned, that’s a blog series all in itself!
- Collaboration has helped me grow my ability to critically and creatively think. Over the last three years with the City of Fishers and even my position before that with Emmis Communications, I’ve been privy to sit in on meetings with a team of people all far more important that I was in the organization. By watching them collaborate and work through a variety of challenges, I was able to emulate their thought processes and expand my thinking – all valuable when approaching a project later in my career.
- Lastly, collaboration is a sure way to sit in a room with decent ideas and leave with revolutionary, potentially industry-shaping ideas. When you walk into a room without an ego, there’s opportunity to a far more productive conversation. Teams that are able to come together and toss every wild, crazy, colorful and seemingly impossible idea up to see what sticks, come up with the brilliant campaigns, strategies and tactics.
Two thirds of the way there! Creativity and collaboration, two of the skills I value most in a professional setting, and two skills I think I bring to the table. Which leaves this series at the final post, communication. Stay tuned to hear more about why this my be my favorite c-word of all!