Ultimately, the key to improved collaboration within a team is to improve the working relationships we maintain, to be purposeful and deliberate in our actions and behaviors.  To be mindful of these choices, be cognizant of them at all times.  An easy way to do so is to THINK about who you want to be and define the acronym to help you.  My THINK Theory is based on the following commitments:

  • Trust.  Too often, it seems like “trust” is used as a motivation or manipulation (as in “I trust you will get this done”) but the intent is to use trust as an action item.  To improve the trust requires being trusting, to accept and encourage the best in others as the basis of this relationship.  Likewise, it is critical that one be trustworthy, worthy of receiving the trust of another by being committed to the good of the interactions while bringing forth your very best at all times.
  • Helpful.  Being available to assist others is powerful, especially when coming from a Leader.  How often does one hear, “What more can I do to help?” instead of here is what you are doing wrong.  Even a small act of kindness, such as picking up something dropped is greatly appreciated, even more so when there is no expectation for reciprocation
  • Ideals.  If life is a reflection of our own creations, then it is valuable to know what are the ideals we pursue. It is startling to hear the response, or lack thereof, to the question, “If you had a magic wand and could create anything you want, whatever the outcome, what would it be?”.  Always be aware of what you want, you just might get it.
  • Negotiate win/win.  There is much fanfare to win/win negotiations these days, while they often seem to be win/lose.  The only real win/win exists when one is willing to accept either position on the resolution, to truly ask yourself what is in my best interests if I were on the other side and add that to the discussion.  
  • Kinetics. The branch of mechanics that deals with the actions of forces in produces or changing the motion of masses. What is the flow of your team and what affect can you have on that movement? Positive or negative? It matters!