(4) Collaboration

Collaboration. One of the things I wasn’t getting right was managing people to work in collaboration. What’s good for you is good for me approach

Collaboration is still on my future agenda, as it’s always been, but in a more effective way. Effective collaboration I’ve found difficult. I wasn’t surprised to find that according to UKCES Employer Skills Survey, UK report (2015) one of the main skills lacking in the UK work force is team working. This fits with my own experience of trying to work on a collaborative project. I was quite amazed, and a little disappointed, at how everyone seemed to have their own agenda and didn’t seem to be able to see how strong we could be by helping each other. Clearly, I have to improve my leadership skills and ability to instil the idea of team working.

While it would have been nice to have a plan and formulate ground rules, where people are engaged with each other in a reciprocal manner (R. Meredith Belbin, 2010)  I wonder if it would have helped. If you’re going into new territory, it’s difficult to know what to ask of people. Perhaps I should have gotten some feedback from a ‘circle of appreciation’, as suggested by Peter Levin (Levin, 2004: 116) but unfortunately, he doesn’t have a section on stubborn artists.

I decided that when I carry on with the project, I’ll only work with artists that are already promoting themselves. The idea being that the project promotes the artist as the artist promotes themselves and consequently that promotes the project. A sort of symbiotic effect, and hopefully an exponential one. To put it simple, helping each other grow.

Obviously, finding a balance between self analysis and beating oneself up is important, even if you have to admit things to yourself that you don’t want to recognise. Still, it’s better to critically self reflect than show signs of the Dunning-Kruger effect (1999) where incompetent people live in a state self belief in their expertise, or, as I call it, not dealing with inconvenient information.

So I learned some things, and have a long way to go. And if the fog isn’t exactly clearing, I do have faith that it will.



UK Commission for Employment and Skills. UK report. 2015. Available at:  https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/704104/Employer_Skills_Survey_2015_UK_Results-Amended-2018.pdf

BElBIN, R. Meredith. 2010. Team Roles at Work. Routledge.

LEVIN, Peter. 2004. Successful Teamwork. Routledge.

DUNNING and KRUGER. 1999. Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own
Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments. Available at :  https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Unskilled-and-unaware-of-it%3A-how-difficulties-in-to-Kruger-Dunning/f2c80eef3585e0569e93ace0b9770cf76c8ebabc



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