When we work together, we can pool our knowledge, get more done and build effective teams. So how can we be more than the sum of our parts?
Our ability to work together is one of the things that make humans so successful, but collaboration can be a tricky business.
The core of good collaboration is communication. We have many techniques for sharing knowledge between us, and learning how to make effective use of language enables us to share our ideas better and build common understanding and shared cultures.
We often misunderstand each other or give out the wrong messages though. We use the wrong words, explain things badly or say things that other people find annoying. We need to be conscious of how we communicate, and more forgiving when we get it wrong.
Misunderstandings, bias and groupthink can get in the way of effective collaboration, and they need to be managed. Groups can develop minds of their own, developing shared biases and missing information.
We often prioritise fitting into the group over challenging the status quo or getting the right answer. Learning how to challenge the group while still remaining part of it can make groups smarter and help us all work better together and be more than the sum of our parts.