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Why Go it Alone?

Many of us spent the pandemic working and living solo.

After it wound down, some of us realized that one of the things we missed the most was collaboration and community -- especially when it came to creativity, problem-solving, and celebration.

Remote workers are finding new ways to connect and we now live in a world where some of us can choose how and where we want to work.

But working solo ALL the time is limiting.

You can't be good at everything. And the ideas and actions of others by your side or on your team can:

  • Help you deliver better results, faster

  • Give you new inspiring ways of thinking

  • Result in long-term relationships -- professional and in life

Women professionals may struggle with learning how to collaborate.

A decade ago, I was prompted to write a short guidebook on how we can overcome "bad behavior" among women in the workforce. I believe we are more aware of our actions now than we were then, but we still have room for improvement.

For example, we are just learning how to interact with a truly diverse (race, gender, age, etc.) workforce. That's why last month, SOS produced this lively and provocative Intergenerational panel.

Collaboration entails way more than just sitting on a Board or a work team with other people. It involves defining your roles, your unique superpowers, and how you'll work together to achieve goals and resolve conflicts.

Would a potluck dinner be any good if everyone brought the same salad recipe?

According to the Harvard Business Review, 80% of managers believe that good collaboration is critical, but a mere 20% like how it happens.

We may spend lots of time in meetings debating a challenge or contributing our points of view, but unless we have the right people in the room (physical or virtual), respect the experience and perspectives of others, define roles, and support each other through both good times and missteps, collaboration leads to dead ends and perhaps even long-term animosity.

Think about great music or movies. They wouldn't be possible without an ensemble, band, or crew. And those collaborations can sometimes be unexpected. For example, we started our Intergenerational panel event with a selection from Duets -- a series in which Tony Bennett paired up with Lady Gala and up-and-coming artists and musicians whose styles were radically different from his own.

And who would ever think this duo would team-up to generate millions in sponsorship deals?

I'm sure some bickering went on behind the scenes, but you'd never know if you didn't read Hollywood gossip media. The end products were terrific.

Collaboration also applies to our day-to-day challenges. Many women are juggling multiple responsibilities like caring for kids, aging parents, and pets or dealing with health and financial challenges outside the workplace. Who can you "duet" with to lighten your load?

So, as you think about collaboration in your work and life, ask yourself:

  1. Most important -- what's the ultimate goal?

  2. What skills do I have that I can bring to the challenge?

  3. What skills don't I have that someone else might contribute?

  4. Can I learn to change my thinking to truly listen to and respect others' points of view and empower teammates to make the right decisions?

  5. What will the decision-making and problem-resolution process be? You may start to form this as you begin to work with others and face roadblocks. As in many aspects of life, honest and timely communication is key!

And, of course, when you complete a task, project, or other accomplishment, celebrate as a team and remember to thank the people who helped achieve the goal.

Looking for collaborators? Look no further.

We're committed to helping you build the right kind of community in work and life. Check out our upcoming events and consider joining SOS.

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Great idea!


It's so interesting to be at this retired stage of life where I do not need to collaborate.



Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Yes...I'm loving my own blog. :) Hope you love it too!

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