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Radical Collaboration

Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships

By James W. Tamm and Ronald J. Luyet
15-minute read
Audio available
Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships by James W. Tamm and Ronald J. Luyet

Radical Collaboration (2004) offers invaluable methods to help you build effective and high-functioning collaborative relationships, as well as strategies to manage any kind of conflict that you might run into. At the heart of these methods are five skills that can turn anyone into a better teammate and turn any organization into an efficient and productive partnership.

  • Business leaders
  • Managers and teammates
  • Readers interested in becoming better collaborators

James W. Tamm is an expert in conflict resolution with decades of experience creating collaborative work environments. He is also a former law professor and California judge who now heads the consulting firm Business Consultants Network Inc.

Ronald J. Luyet is the cofounder of the Green Zone Culture Group, which helps companies build their own collaborative work environments. He is also a senior member of the Business Consultants Network and coauthor of the book Where Freedom Begins: The Process of Personal Change.

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Radical Collaboration

Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships

By James W. Tamm and Ronald J. Luyet
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Radical Collaboration: Five Essential Skills to Overcome Defensiveness and Build Successful Relationships by James W. Tamm and Ronald J. Luyet
Synopsis

Radical Collaboration (2004) offers invaluable methods to help you build effective and high-functioning collaborative relationships, as well as strategies to manage any kind of conflict that you might run into. At the heart of these methods are five skills that can turn anyone into a better teammate and turn any organization into an efficient and productive partnership.

Key idea 1 of 9

Collaboration requires good intentions and an unselfish attitude.

The modern business world is highly interconnected, with teams spread across the globe that, with the use of online communication, can nevertheless collaborate with one another as if they were neighbors. As such, it’s more important than ever to have great collaborative skills.

So without further ado, let’s look at five essential skills that every great collaborator should have – skills so useful they’ll not only improve your business relationships, but your personal ones as well.

Every great collaboration needs to start with the right motives, which is why the first skill is collaborative intention which refers to having the right mindset for collaboration.

To make sure you have the right mindset, you’ll want to make sure to avoid the red zone and stay in the green zone.

The red zone is a place of defensiveness, where people are mostly driven by a sense of self-interest and the will to outshine everyone else. When you’re in the red zone, you’re not thinking about creative resolutions or how to find win-win situations; instead, your selfish desires will create conflict.

Where you want to be is in the green zone, where your mind is focused on cultivating successful, long-term collaboration, and everyone is driven by open and cooperative values. People in the green zone are opposed to selfish gains and are instead driven to find solutions where everyone comes out ahead.

However, it’s all too common for people to mistakenly think they’re in the green and unconsciously sabotage a project by being in the red.

This is why it’s important to always be honest with yourself and reflect on your own attitude while being open to feedback from your colleagues.

A helpful exercise is to ask your teammates for ten words that best describe your attitude or style.

What you want to be on the lookout for are words like “defensive,” “closed,” “anxious” or “competitive,” as these are telltale signs that you’re in the red zone. You can also ask your colleagues to inform you when you’ve mistakenly made a huge deal out of a small incident, as this will also help you stay firmly in the green.

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