A Positive Outlook Usually Works
Posted on February 29, 2008
Bruce G. Link (bio) encourages a rose-colored view when collaborating.
In terms of how you work together with people in projects where people have different agendas and different needs, you need to know what their needs are. It's a good thing to stop and say, "What's in it for them?" It's good also to make sure you're thinking about what's in it for you, and you try to balance those. And what's creative about that is trying to find win-win things where it's good for you, it's good for them and then to maintain that. And then in working, you try not to get your feathers too ruffled.
My experience has been, you can go into these situations, worried that you're not going to get your due, worried that they're going to get more than you do and so on. If you have too much of that, you can't go forward because you're too suspicious and it doesn't work.
In my experience it's best to go in not always getting exactly back what you thought, but not worrying about it, sticking with it, trying to, in the long run, keep a long vision on that, because sometimes it will be better for you and sometimes not as good for you.
But sometimes having rose-tinted glasses, there's two things, one thing, it can help you facilitate things, because you're not being suspicious, and you're thinking well of the other people. They see that. You express it to them. You give them positive feedback, and they're more likely to want to engage with you, give you resources and the like. On the other hand, you can get hurt by it. You're taking a risk. You can lose something. You can be exploited. You can be treated badly. You can end up being the fall guy for something. It's just the way it is. But in my experience, it's been better to go out with a positive outlook towards collaborating with people, and it usually works.
Excerpted from interview with researcher in September 2007.
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