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5 Keys to Successful Collaboration

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End of Innovation Conference Keynote
Keys to Successful Collaboration
Shapiro, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School/McLean
Hospital and Associate Director of Harvard International Negotiation Project
Shapiro begins his keynote by the fantasy of how
easy innovation can be'and how it crashes against the steel wall of the
'The key to successful commercialization is
successful collaboration,' he claims. 'Think of the conflicts, the stress, the
negotiations'and imagine if you can streamline that process and make it even
five percent better. It's an emotional problem, not a rational one.'
Shapiro proposes a framework for socializing the
efforts, to better understand the emotional side of collaboration and deal more
effectively with the emotions of others.
The primary question is how do you deal with
emotions. The default is to suspend emotions, but the reality is that you
cannot. Emotions are complicated and complex, but essential to the human
experience and meaningful collaboration.
Don't focus on emotions directly is his advice.
Instead, take one step back and focus on core concerns. The five basic core
concerns are: Appreciation[RE1] ,
Affiliation, Role, Status, and Autonomy. If you deal well with these five
concerns, you are in a better position.
Let's start with Appreciation. No one likes to
feel unheard, devalued, not understood. Appreciation has a big impact on
emotions. This is a key tool to getting concepts approved. How do you do it?
Here are three basic tactics:
1.     Understand
the other's point of view
2.     Find
merit in what they think, feel, or do

3.     Communicate
your understanding
This is the most powerful tool for executives in
negotiating. The key to such communication is listening'and also asking good,
open-ended questions.
The next core concern is Autonomy. Autonomy is
the freedom to make decisions without imposition from others. When someone's
autonomy feels imposed upon, professionals get defensive.
How do you deal with Autonomy? Always consult
before deciding.
Affiliation is the emotional connection between
you and others. The ideal is to turn an adversary into a colleague.
To build Affiliation don't walk in and state a
position. Rather, walk in as ask for advice authentically.
Status is about who is up and who is down. Status
is your standing in relation with another.
The final of the five concerns is Role. We play
pre-established roles. Strategy, shape your roles and theirs.
To stimulate helpful emotions:
1.     Respect
2.     Build
3.     Acknowledge
4.     Shape
a fulfilling role
5.     Express
Seek to understand all parties' emotions.
Michael Graber is the managing partner of the
Southern Growth Studio, an innovation and strategic growth firm based in
Memphis, TN and the author of Going
Visit to learn more.

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