discussing online interaction & networking from the corner table...

Working Together

I’ve told folks that I’m more into the relational aspect of social media – the “social” more than the “media” side. This article tweaked me in it’s ideas for collaborating and brainstorming together:

Put more simply, it’s a way for a group of people to get together and brainstorm with structure. It’s a way to be sure even the introverts have a voice. And it’s a way to be sure not one person does all the talking and is the only voice who gets a say.

The meeting was divided by charrette. You had 15-20 minutes to present your thinking and then debate its merits with the other experts, staff, and trustees.

It worked really, really well. Better than any brainstorm I’ve ever sat in on.

via Take a Different Approach to Brainstorming | Spin Sucks.

Read the whole article, and imagine some of your own meetings going in a similar direction. At work, or church, or at the country rec league getting ready for spring soccer tryout – what if we took time to think without some of the fear or the politics that often go into these scenarios?

For the past few weeks, I’ve been noticing negativity more and more online. It’s been on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram even. And my first self-judgment is that I’m noticing it because it’s welling up in me more than normal, too. My own judgmentalism and negative reactions are leading to me noticing it more all over – so I’m to blame more than anything for the “noticing” part of the equation.

So hopefully it’s without pointing fingers that I am now looking at this from the perspective of relationships and being together in the good stuff of life. We cut each other off in negativity. I cut others off when I’m looking through mud-colored glasses. And we/I end up losing more than we gain when we/I do that. One of the areas we/I lose out on is working  together, letting each other influence and impact the whole separately and collectively.

I guess it’s the knowledge that I’m not perfect and that I don’t know everything that leads me to want to get more cooks in the kitchen. I want to know what you think. I don’t want to miss out on your addition to our experience. And this article outlines a way to get everyone thinking on their own – in my reading, it means everyone has an equal opportunity to fling it out there. And that separation of egos can then come together as a better, more well-rounded whole.

  • Value everyone’s ideas – all thoughts on the table because with this framework, it’s already been individually vetted before being brought to the group.
  • Value YOUR OWN ideas – this is huge, I think, because when we brainstorm in certain groups we often think too highly or too inferior about our own ideas depending on who’s in the group. Stop that – foundationally here. you’re the boss of your own ideas and it’s up to you to work out the particulars before presenting to the group.
  • Listen – this is big in all of life, and it’s important here because you’ll get to hear other folks share something they’ve spent time and effort on, hearing firsthand how it might mesh into what you’ve also put time and effort into on your side.
  • Blend graciousness with pragmatism – let each other dream; let each other try things out mentally and philosophically; and then collectively bring the pieces together into a doable/workable whole that’s better than any one piece would’ve been alone.
  • UPDATE: another bulletpoint from Gini from SpinSucks.com in the comments below: “One thing I would add to your list. People go into brainstorms or meetings or discussions thinking everyone works and thinks the same way they do. Be cognizant of other personality types (introverts and extroverts) so everyone has a voice. That’s why I like the charrettes so much – they give everyone a voice.”

So this week, I’m looking for more ways to work together with those around me. Whether it’s in the office or in various extracurricular get-togethers, how can I be a part of something collaborative and more truly representative of everyone together? That’s what I want to be a part of. That’s some of the meaningful stuff that’s been missing in my own recent descent.

What about you? How are you collaborating and working together with other lately?

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2 Responses to Working Together

  1. Isn’t it funny how self-awareness leads to really interesting discussion? I also really love the mud-colored description.

    One thing I would add to your list. People go into brainstorms or meetings or discussions thinking everyone works and thinks the same way they do. Be cognizant of other personality types (introverts and extroverts) so everyone has a voice. That’s why I like the charrettes so much – they give everyone a voice.

    • No pre-suppositions on others’ way of thinking – man, that’s too true most of the time. Excellent add to the list and I might update/quote you on that. And I’m looking forward to employing some charrettes-like workflow the next time I’m heading up a group like that. Thanks!