Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

By our very evolutionary nature, humans polarize. We’re hardwired to sense negativity, so we can counter it quickly and efficiently.

In fact, millions of years of this response to negative elements in the environment helped our ancestors survive. Not all of them, of course. And not for long, until more recent history. But staying alive and propagating the species was the goal.

Clearly, it wasn’t pretty. In the name of prehistoric progress, factions formed, mostly controlled by violent, fear-mongering leaders who greedily focused on their own survival, at the expense of weaker tribe members. And now after many generations, we’re here to tell about it.

Growing Into Our Collaborative Skin

Thank goodness for the frontal cortex. In more recent centuries, Enlightenment, the scientific revolution and humanitarian movements helped fundamentally shift the way we react to one another, and how we work with one another for the betterment of all.

That’s the value of every human life in a civilized society — the fact that we now can and do empathize with our global brothers and sisters. When we empathize, we can collaborate — and collaboration can elevate us all.

Collaboration: What is it and Why is it Here?

It’s not about 50-50 compromise. It’s not a winner-take-all confrontation. Nor is it merely a warm, fuzzy all-hands group hug. In its highest form, collaboration is an opportunity to create an entirely new “whole” that is larger and more effective than the sum of its parts. Ideally, a common goal is served, and everybody wins. As someone said at this week’s #TChat Twitter discussion, it’s like making a good paella.

Of course, as we see each day at work, in our communities and in the headlines, collaboration isn’t always the tool of choice, even among “civilized” humans. It hasn’t replaced polarizing negativity or self-serving violence. But we’ve “come a long way, baby,” as the 60’s commercials used to say. Violent fear-mongering is so last millennium anyway, right?

We’ve experienced first-hand how empathy, diversity of thought and respectful engagement motivate us to skip childlike together down yellow brick roads toward that magical land of Oz — from the highest levels of government, to corporations, to non-profits, to start-ups. Well at least that’s what we aspire to achieve — as it should be.

Learning Together, One Step at a Time

Of course, in reality, while we skip in sync with others on one foot, we still tend to shoot ourselves in the other. It’s not easy. But it’s human. And it’s progress.

Fortunately, for those of us in the TalentCulture community, as long as we have collaborative #TChat first aid within reach, we can rest assured that our corner of the work world is covered. Thanks to your participation, we are better, together.

And thanks to this week’s special #TChat events guest, Dr. Jesse Lyn Stoner, for helping us gain a much deeper understanding of collaboration’s roots, and how to apply it more effectively in the workplace. Jesse is a brilliant business consultant, executive coach and author, focused on helping companies improve their performance through collaborative strategies.

If you missed any of this week’s events – or if want to revisit insights anytime – just follow the links below…

#TChat Week-in-Review

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Listen to the #TChat Radio interview with Jesse Lyn Stoner

SUN 3/3  TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro framed the week’s discussion with her Forbes.com post: “Smart Leaders and the Power of Collaboration.”

MON 3/4  #TChat Weekly Preview “Smart Leaders Collaborate” laid out key questions for the community to consider.

TUE 3/5  #TChat Radio Show: Our hosts sat down with Jesse to define successful workplace collaboration. It was a helpful look into the human drivers that contribute to collaboration – or block its progress – and how leaders can be more effective by recognizing those underlying motivations.

WED 3/6  #TChat Twitter: Jesse returned to moderate our dynamic weekly Twitter forum – as a living model of mass virtual collaboration in action! Check out these highlights from the conversation…

#TChat Recap: “Smart Leaders Collaborate”

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Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

THANKS: One more round of applause, please, for Dr. Jesse Lyn Stoner! We appreciate you sharing your deep understanding of collaboration. Your insights sparked ideas that will help us work more effectively with others.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about workplace collaboration? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week – SPRING BREAK at SXSW! No scheduled #TChat events March 12/13. But please SAVE THE DATES the following week, March 19/20, when HR/talent/learning industry expert Josh Bersin, Founder/Principal at Bersin by Deloitte joins us to discuss key trends, and their implications for organizational culture, development and leadership.

Until then, we’ll continue to tackle World of Work discussion each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. And feel free to explore other areas of this redesigned blog/community website. TalentCulture is always open and the lights are always on.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

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