Section C

Recording 3

Today I’d like to talk about the dangers of being too collaborative. Being a good team player is a central skill in our modern workplace. The ability to work well with others and collaborate on projects is a sought-after ability in nearly every position. However, placing too much emphasis on being a good team player can negatively affect your career growth. Don’t be overly focused on gaining consensus. Don’t be too concerned with the opinions of others. This can hinder your ability to make decisions, speak up and gain recognition for your individual skills and strengths. Some people are too subordinate to others’ opinions, too focused on decision consensus, too silent about their own point of view, too agreeable to take things on when they don’t have time or energy. This leads to building a brand of underconfident, submissive, low-impact non-leaders and hampers their growth and career advancement.

Collaboration certainly makes your individual competencies and contributions more difficult for outsiders to identify. Collaborative projects mean you’re sharing the spotlight with others. Outsiders may then find it difficult to determine your contributions and strengths. This may end up costing you opportunities for promotions or pay raises. You certainly shouldn’t ditch teamwork, but how can you avoid the hazards of being an over-collaborator?

Working in a team can have huge benefits. Your team may have repeated successes and often gain recognition. You then have more opportunities to expand your professional network than if you worked alone. However, finding a balance between team efforts and individual projects that give you independent recognition is important for making a name for yourself and providing opportunities for advancement.

Be selective in who you work with. This will maximize the benefits and minimize the downsides of being a team player. Collaborate with people who have complementary expertise. Select projects where there’s potential for mutual benefit. Perhaps you’re bringing your unique knowledge and gaining access to someone else’s professional network, or maybe you’re able to learn a new skill by working with someone. Seek out your teammates purposefully rather than jumping on every new group project opportunity. When we’re too collaborative, we want everyone to agree with a decision before we proceed. This can create unnecessary delays as you hold meetings trying to achieve consensus. It’s fine to be collaborative when seeking input. But put a deadline on the input stage and arrive at a decision, even if it’s a decision that doesn’t have consensus.



Q22. What does the speaker say about being over collaborative?

Q23. What does the speaker say about people engaged in collaborative projects?

Q24. How do people benefit from working in a team?

Q25. Why is it undesirable to spend too much time trying to reach consensus?