Based on the Thomas-Kilmann assessment for how people handle conflict, Sandy Styer in her post, At the Corner of Assertiveness & Cooperation: Collaboration, outlines five behaviors: the Avoider, the Accommodater, the Compromiser, the Competitor and the Collaborator. These behavior arise from the individual’s focus on "the “Self” and the “Cooperative.” Below is the pictorial view of the framework from her post:
So, are people who are not “Collaborators,” based on this model, unfit for effective collaboration? What do you do when a person who is “Competitive” (Low on Cooperative and High on Self), but whose expertise, skills and knowledge are critical to the success of the mission? Moreover, people typically have situation-dependent behavior profiles; for example, the normal day-to-day behavior may be dramatically different from behavior under stress. What do you do with that?
What’s in it for me (WIIFM) can be a great persuader. Professional athletes are arguably the most competitive bunch, yet they collaborate to accomplish the mission (that is, winning championships). See a related post: If You Can’t Pass the Ball, You Can’t play!
Learning how others behave and, more importantly, how we behave ourselves, can offer insights into how to effectively engage others in a collaboration effort. I think the model is instructive in that it enourages us to strive for the "Collaborator" behavior and encourage and support others on the team to do the same. I can not resist including the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that Sandy has in her post: "A leader isn't a seeker of consensus, but a molder of consensus."
To which category of behavior(s) do you belong? Do you recognize the behavior profiles of your teammates? How do you engage teammates who fit into different categories from you of this model?
"Politeness is the poison of collaboration." - Edwin Land (via Steve Lamont)
See Related Posts:
- If You Can’t Pass the Ball, You Can’t play!
- Measuring Collaboration Behavior
- Effective Collaboration Is More than Deliverables
- Collaboration: Building and Sustaining Trust
- Collaboration Is More than Team Building and Management
- Managing Virtual Teams
- The Four Ps of Effective Collaboration
- How’s your collaboration effort going?