I’m Afraid to Collaborate…

In my 30+ years of executive experience I’ve never heard a manager or employee say that they were afraid to collaborate. Yet, their actions prove the opposite.

Fear of collaboration is an unfounded fear, but nevertheless it has a profoundly negative impact on group engagement. A big part of creating engagement is having a collaborative culture within your franchise, cooperative, dealer network, or buying group. There are so many books written on the benefits of collaboration, but I have found that the fear of collaboration is it’s biggest deterrent.

Here are some foolproof signs to determine if fear of collaboration is what’s keeping your organization from improving engagement and moving forward:

  • Its not ready yet to be shared.
  • I don’t have the time.
  • They won’t understand the big picture.
  • What if they don’t like the idea?
  • They don’t know enough to be helpful.
  • They won’t get it so, what’s the point?
  • I’ll just get a bunch of feedback that I can’t use anyway.

Why are people afraid of collaboration within their group organization?

It really comes down to this: Many people, if not most people, lack the personal self-confidence and are afraid to collaborate. In most cases, this is an irrational fear, but somehow it’s embedded in the psyche of many individuals.

What do you think? Why are people afraid of collaborating? Do you work with any colleagues who  are afraid of collaborating? Do you think that I’m right when I say that lack of self-confidence is a big part of the issue?

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