Want Better Collaboration – Stop Asking Questions

The first step to a collaborative environment is to banish questions. Yes, banish the question mark from all conversation.

Questions reinforce heirarchial relationships rather than build the peer-to-peer relationships necessary for innovative, effective collaboration.

Step #1. Everyone is smart and everyone’s knowledge is of equal value.

A question forces someone else to make something for you.

Step #2. You can create things others find valuable.

7 Replies to “Want Better Collaboration – Stop Asking Questions”

  1. Are you serious? (See, I couldn’t get past the first line). I think a room full of people making declarative statements would be the first step to 100% non-collaboration. The best collaborative interactions i’ve ever been in have had some kind of a center around which the collaboration revolved, be it a speaker/leader or a central question. I’d argue that you really need some sort of hierarchy to maintain focus.

    >>”A question forces someone else to make something for you”
    I disagree. Nobody has to answer a question I raise.

  2. Yes, a central issue is absolutely necessary for collaboration – add some urgency and a very small room. What comes out will be magic.

    Too often, I see smart people relying on others to find answers nobody knows. That’s what defeats collaboration – sending someone else out to find an answer you should have been finding together.

  3. Hmmm…not everyone is smart. This is an articulable, provable fact. Essentially, the fact-finding interrogatory is the foundation of all research. Just because people can add their unique worldview and life perspective doesn’t make them necessarily intelligent. They *might* be able to add to a collaboration because of their unique experience, but that doesn’t mean they are smart, or, more importantly, relevant.

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