Relationships are important, and are pretty much everywhere – we start with our parents, then go to school and manage our friends, then we usually go to university or college and have to spread ourselves thin between family, friends, and professors, and finally most of us end up in jobs. And no one tells us how to have relationships, there is no class about cooperation, empathy, collaboration… Sometimes it’s woven between class projects and club activities, but who here had a class about how people work, how to talk, how to me empathetic? Yet these are required in life (unless you’re a hermit, of course, but since you’re on this blog, you’re probably not a hermit). I know many people who say, “Ugh, I hate people!” but what they really mean is that they hate assholes, douchebags, or people who get on their nerves.
There will always be people who get on our nerves. Because we’re all different. We’re bound to come across someone whose thinking is different, who has different goals and ways of working. But we have to work together (ok, we don’t *have to* have to, but that’s coaching approach is a different issue; for the sake of this post let’s assume we want money and/or career, therefore we have to work with other people) and collaborate with others. And, it’s just nice to be ok with other people (unless they hurt us or others, then by all means, kick their ass) and be open-minded to other ways of thinking, cultural behaviors, upbringing, etc.
Bottom line is, t’s essential to know how to work with other people. As Instructional Designers, design thinking facilitators, workshoppers, UX designers or researchers – collaborations is key, interviews are abunch, and people are always around. Subject Matter Experts are always around.
Are there any rules about how to work with Subject Matter Experts, or other people around? I’m glad you asked! Here’s a quick and easy recipe!
SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATION RULEZZZ
Being open, appreciative, and helpful can go the extra mile. SMEs are essential to our work, and making them feel like part of the process and the solutions is vital. Let’s not treat them as expendable providers of Ms PowerPoint presentations with content – let’s make them part of the Learning and Development families! The four rules I presented above are fairly easy, but most importantly rely on human contact, value of work, and communication. Of course there is more – and in each L&D team there will be more. But in my experience, these are the core rules to establish collaboration and appreciative environment that will only benefit in the future.