I’ve been thinking a lot about collaboration lately. I’ve just finished one collaborative project, am in the middle of a couple of other projects and a part of a few other, ongoing collaborative efforts.
Of course, not all my attempts at collaboration are a success. Sometimes I fall on my face and sometimes things fizzle out.
I think it all circles back to communication. When efforts have worked out, the communication was easier, and when it wasn’t easy, at least it was open and honest. And when mistakes were made, the assumptions on both ends was that they were been mistakes, not intentional misdeeds.
Not all collaborations can work out – hey, I know I can’t get along with everyone. And certainly I’m as guilty as the next person of misinterpreting intent, putting my ego too much in the game, and letting both those things get in the way of the flow of communication. But I am really proud of this piece that I worked on with Sue Robins for Bloom, (the blog for Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital), all about how the parent voice can be heard when we need to collaborate with our kids’ health professionals (‘I felt so small:’ Parent tips on speaking up with specialists).
What I liked about this collaboration: I’ve never really written a piece with anyone before. I see Sue as a writing mentor as well as someone who has had similar, but not identical, experiences in healthcare. It was great to generate ideas together and to turn what is usually a solitary experience for me (writing) into a shared experience.