Hi everybody, this is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question:
Can you speak to the importance of collaboration versus just making a decision to get things moving forward?
I think collaboration generally is a good idea. So, let’s start with that general statement. If you are about to make a high stakes decision that involves a lot of people and a lot of various perspectives – collaborate. If you’re trying to evacuate a building, do not collaborate. If you have a high risk, high value, high impact target that you’ve got to handle, probably the less collaboration the better.
But here’s the thing. Most people who are good at decision-making have a good balance of both collaboration as well as being authoritative. So you have to be willing to make the decision, otherwise, collaboration turns into paralysis which is never a good thing. So you always want to figure out what that looks like and feels like.
The second thing I’d have to say is that collaboration runs out of effectiveness the longer it goes. So, if I’m sitting in a room and we’re collaborating on and on and on, somebody has to just make a decision. That’s why you need a balance of collaboration and willingness to make a good decision. Make sure when you go into a situation like that that you figure out who owns the decision when you go in. I very seldom say we’re going to make a group decision. I usually say we’re going to collaborate as a group and then I’m going to make the decision after that. Or we’re going to collaborate as a group and then I’m going to hand the expertise off to person X – they’re the expert, they know what they’re doing.
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