Corporate employees are forced to collaborate with others as a job requirement. However, for an entrepreneur or freelancer, collaboration is a choice. There are lots of benefits to collaboration, but when it goes wrong, it can go very, very wrong. Deciding when, where, and with whom to collaborate is a skill.
Five things to consider next time you’re considering a collaboration:
- Is there really a need? Time is your most valuable asset, so before making that investment, determine if there is a real demand for the collaboration.
- Are there complementary skill sets between collaborators? This combination can allow for the ability to land larger, more substantive projects. Success requires the definition of roles and for collaborators to stay in their lane.
- Does it help cement a relationship? Collaboration should be a win-win, and success requires give and take.
- Does it provide the opportunity to work with interesting people or friends? One of the perks of being your own boss is deciding the type of people you want to work with or take on as clients.
- Do you trust them? This is a biggie. While collaboration requires a leap of faith, the failure to vet people fully can have catastrophic consequences.
Ultimately successful collaborations are built on respect, trust, and communication.
Dorie Clark shares insight on collaboration in a Harvard Business Review article.