Collaboration: Baking and Breaking Better Bread

“…and there’s always another point of view, a better way to do the things we do. And how can you know me, and I know you…” –The Raconteurs

But knowing takes time, effort and some commitment to the process.

Maybe we should break bread together more often. The President just had Republicans over for dinner, and then again for lunch, in order to better collaborate and “break the stalemate over taxes, spending and deficit-reduction.” It’s a small step toward hopefully working together and actually solving some very painful problems.

It’s an opportunity to look beyond political differences that have polarized the nation’s leaders. Although by our very evolutionary nature, we polarize. We’re hardwired to sense negativity, so we can counter it quickly and efficiently.

More Cooks = More Creative Solutions

The good news is that our frontal lobes have evolved to better smell the baking of collaborative bread. The kind that gets our creative juices flowing, that puts the “dope” into dopamine and gives us the metaphorical munchies for even more progress and positive reinforcement. To befriend, to create, to learn, to solve, to make better, to work together toward a shared goal.

(Side Note: The brain’s frontal lobe is where many of the dopamine-sensitive neurons reside in the cerebral cortex. Dopamine is associated with reward, attention, short-term memory tasks, planning, and motivation.)

Reward and motivation. Doesn’t that get your tummy growling? Think about some of your most collaborative moments — more than likely they centered around a tasty snack or a relaxing meal, maybe even if a drink or two if you enjoy the libation. It could’ve been a one-on-one, a small group or a whole diversified gaggle of folk discussing primary topics while saddling up to multiple sidebars.

Connections and Communication: Essential Ingredients

Feasting on face time with one another — there is something to the hubbub of classic office environments. Those of us who work from home exclusively must be more proactive and innovative, to capture what we might otherwise miss during informal synchronous moments at breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack-time in and around the office with colleagues, peers and leadership. After all, we can still have lunch over a video chat, can’t we?

For that matter, we do break the collaborative bread every week in the TalentCulture World of Work community, when we come together through multiple #TChat forums, don’t we?

To befriend, to create, to learn, to solve, to make better, to work together toward a shared goal. Mmmm — do you smell that? Hold on, let me check the oven.

Image Credit: Stock.xchng