For a collaboration project the size that mine is, there are two ways that it can be done. Either close, meaning working in the same room or building and being in the same room, which can benefit from being able to brain storm and can help with planning and revising. Or far, which is what we are doing – working on our own in separate locations and having to keep regular communication (Hutcheon 2001). I believe that working from a far also has its advantages. Due to the fact that we are not together we wont be tempted to fall into always thinking the same thing. Hutcheon also goes on to talk about how it’s important to maintain a separate identity for the success of working together to create a project. I believe this can be very helpful in that it means we keep our own ideas and we are not initially influenced by anyone else. In my opinion good ideas can come from to separate ideas being merged together, not one idea being molded by two people. Hutcheon goes on to say “Ideal collaborators start to sound a lot like those ideal interdisciplinary individuals defined by Julie Thompson Klein as being characterized by reliability, flexibility, patience, resilience, sensitivity to others, risk- taking, a thick skin, and a preference for diversity and new social roles”. All of these factors are ideal and necessary for a successful collaboration. I would like to explain a little about each one.
Without reliability collaboration will not work. Especially in my case having to rely on Darren doing the work without me being around, and vice versa.
As with any work flexibility is a key part. Some of my initial ideas have not been able to work and I have had to be flexible to something that will work, especially in the time frame.
Needed when working with other people in any capacity. People will not be able to do things as quickly as you think about them. As I have mentioned previously as well you need to plan for more time to be taken than usual, needing more patience as well.
Possibly one of the more important traits is resilience. Being able to cope when things are going wrong and staying calm will not only help yourself but also the whole team that you are collaborating with.
Sensitivity to others
As well as having your own ideas it is imperative that you are sensitive to others ideas and feelings. Being sure to hear what people have to say and evaluating appropriately.
With more people working together comes more ideas. It also means more people to clean up if something goes wrong. The idea of coming together is to share ideas so it is always worth taking the risk and running with your idea to see how it fits in the project.
Along with the previous comes a need to be thick skinned, especially if your ideas do not get used or if you do something wrong. As I have also mentioned before, not everyone gets along, but you wont get on with anyone without some thick skin.
Working in a group means being open to diversity. Being open to roles changing and possibly having a role you may not fully enjoy will help move a project along.