True collaboration requires the gifts of
four different human archetypes. These archetypes are the Sovereign (vision and
decision-making), the Magician (creativity), the Lover (relationships) and the Warrior
(getting things done). Each of us is a mix of these archetypes; usually one or another is
dominant and can interfere with our ability to work well as part of a team. By identifying
and harmonizing these archetypes in ourselves and others we are able build collaboration
from the inside out.
In addition to learning to work with the
archetypes, we also focus on the three Keys to Collaboration:
Vision. There are two
kinds of visionsharing a common goal or working against a common adversary. Vision
cannot be imposed from outside. It must emerge from the authentic interchange among the
participants themselves if there is to be genuine "buy-in." Vision must be
inclusive of everyone even as it provides direction to the enterprise.
Balanced Power. True
collaboration is not possible if some participants can impose their will on the others.
The result of such exchanges is merely accommodation. Collaboration requires those in
positions of power to share it with the others or to abstain from exercising it; those of
less influence similarly must learn how to assert themselves until a balance has been
As every successful coach understands, even the most talented players must learn to think
of themselves as part of a greater whole if the team is to work as a unit. Like a flock of
geese migrating south in a flying "V," we must constantly adjust our positions
to achieve our common goal. This requires a keen awareness of everyone elses
shifting strengths and needs, and is called "relational thinking."
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