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  • Dr. Rakhi Gera Bhandari

The Art of - Collaboration

Updated: Oct 29, 2020


Collaboration is indeed an art that has been and continues to remain quite a challenge for many companies globally. With the multinational companies dedicating a chunk of their budget on team building events and activities to encourage collaboration among the teams why is this still so difficult to achieve?

Is knowledge sharing and cooperation such a complex virtue to attain? In order to find an explanation to the ever-challenging questions we must first try and delve into the root of the problem.

Perhaps identifying the hindrances can help us identify the solutions.


"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't"
- Frank A. Clark

8 factors that contribute to potential lack of collaboration.

  1. Uniqueness of knowledge: Knowledge is indeed power. Power to withhold the information and use it to get an edge above the rest of the team.

  2. Propensity to control: As humans we have an inherent inclination to be in control. Collaboration may not always be in accordance and hence the fear of losing control over one's ideas stem up.

  3. WIIFM: The age-old idiom initialized, 'What's in it for me?' True as it may sound it could be one of the most difficult attitudes to resolve. When we talk about a team, its about sharing the limelight.

  4. Rejection: With some introverts it could also be the fear of rejection of their ideas or their opinions.

  5. Appreciation: Being recognized and applauded for your work can be like an Atropine injected into a slow beating heart.

  6. Cultural sensitivity: With globalization, cultural sensitivity has become an even more important issue and one of the biggest contributor to collaboration or the lack of it.

  7. Leadership: Definitely the most important factor is leadership. The most collaborative team is the team with the most communicative, empathetic and encouraging manager.

  8. Crab Mentality: Lets delve into this human trait below.

Bucket of Crabs!

Here I would like to cite the allegory of the

Crab mentality, wherein the crabs that are trapped in a bucket can collectively escape but instead sabotage the efforts of those who try.

"If I can't have it, neither can you" is this attitude an evolutionary trait or a modern adaptation to change?

Unlike the believers of Evolutionary psychology, Steve Taylor who is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Leeds Beckett University, suggests that humans aren’t inherently selfish in fact they are actually hardwired to work together. He maintains that its the end of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and the advent of farming which could be connected to a psychological change that inculcated a new sense of individuality and separateness.


So it isn't hardwired- Get a CHECR list!

Presuming that being non-collaborative or individualistic is actually not hardwired but just an evolutionary adaptive response, then hardwired traits can help overcome this.

Hardwired traits like Communication (C), Humour (H), Empathy (E), Courage (C),

Reward (R) acronymised as CHECR can go a long way in achieving the much coveted collaboration amongst people.

  • Be Communicative and encourage communication. Don't just talk, listen,

  • Lighten the moods with anecdotes and such,

  • Empathize- constantly put yourself in others' shoes,

  • Courage to adopt new, innovative ideas

  • Reward generously or Incentivize whether with bonuses or words.

CHECR list can help augment trust and concretize relationships whether professionally or personally. H2O provides an excellent space for team-building and other collaborative activities that help you strengthen your team. After all, a de-stressed mind is a prolific mind! Call us today!


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