Blog Post

You’re not collaborating!

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I’ve seen a lot of posts on social media recently talking about collaboration.  These posts talk about recommending businesses to others, sharing contact details, you know – that kind of thing.

I hate to break it to you, but that’s not collaborating.  It’s referring.

Collaboration can be defined as:

  • Teamwork
  • A Partnership
  • An Alliance
  • A Relationship

These are all things that make collaboration work.

But do you know the one thing that glues it all together?


Because collaboration isn’t about referrals.  If you want a medal for referring lots of folks to other peoples stuff – you crack on.  If you feel that this is part of your business or networking model and it works for you.  Even better.

But it isn’t about just recommending other services from your friends and colleagues.  That’s a wonderful thing to do, and much appreciated when it happens.  Believe me.  But it isn’t collaboration.  Not at all.

Trust takes time to nurture, build and develop.  I’ve been guilty in the past of trusting far too quickly and have ended up with both professional and personal egg on my face.

Collaborations are also not one-person shows, or a theatre purely for the focussed and ambitious. They should be a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship of two or more people or teams to achieve common goals together.  True collaboration only works when all the parties are genuinely working together, seeking a positive outcome & dealing with any issues on the way.  Together..

If you are truly going to collaborate with someone then you need to know you are singing from the same hymn sheet, have the same goals, the same approach to whatever you are collaborating on, understand how it will benefit each other’s business or service – not just your own, and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses to complement each other and make it work.

There needs to be mutual benefit, mutual understand and mutual trust.

I’m about to launch into an adventure with someone who I’ve known for over 8 years now.  We’ve been working together quietly for the last 2 ½.  It’s taken that time for us to be confident in our business relationship to begin to get loud about what we offer.


Because that’s what collaboration is about.


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