Watch Season 2 Episode 3 of Conscious Business Leaders TV featuring guest Jason Stein as he speaks on “Conscious Collaboration.”
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Excerpt from Conscious Collaboration
Indigo: When we talk about “Conscious Collaboration,” what is it that makes it conscious?
Jason: That’s a great question! I think the first thing is, old school would say, “Win, win!” That everyone at the table, everyone involved is really getting their needs met, and doing it with … the intentions starts there.
Indigo: So, is it about the intention and the attitude more, or is it about actual processes like actual steps that you take?
Jason: Both! I think it starts always… the beginning step is the intention, “Can I create a project, an idea, a thought with someone else into action in a way that their needs get met and my needs get met?”
Indigo: Okay. So, the trick though is knowing what that really means, right? Because I somewhat know my needs. At least in this moment, I may know something different tomorrow. But, I don’t necessarily really know what your needs are.
Jason: Yeah, we’d have to have a dialog about that. Now, what was your intention for inviting me on the show?
Indigo: To have you help us learn how to create collaborations that are more conscious. How would that really be applied for somebody… and ultimately to help the audience, as well as myself, because I also want to have conscious collaboration.
Jason: So my intention was to come on and share through experience and not theory what I’ve learned, and so it starts there. We both have this intention. And it’s an interesting thing, because we go through different circles… I see Selena is on the call… I know Paul Zelizer knows both of us… and together, we created more awareness about the call itself that I noticed before I even got on, people we are excited and already subscribed.
Indigo: Yeah. So, it’s like you and I have different reasons to do this one thing that we are doing together, but our different needs meet up and something happens that other people can benefit from. But you and I actually… yeah, go ahead.
Jason: The only thing that I would shift in what you’re saying is, you and I may have the same need. Like our intentions may be the exact same, and the collaboration’s still gonna work. But when you have one person that’s like, “This doesn’t feel good, but I know I should.” or, “It’s gonna give me more visibility, but it’s gonna be a lot of hard work that I don’t really wanna do.” I find that there are a lot of win-lose opportunities that people do because they think it’s going to advance their agenda, and it’s just a huge waste of time.
Indigo: Yeah! Okay. So, that’s a big conversation to have. There’s also the logistical conversation that I really wanna have with you, because I do want to give people very practical tools. But, what you just said really opens up a question about the context of when does collaboration even happen. Not just conscious that if there’s gonna be collaboration, but conscious in even deciding, “Will there be collaboration?”
Jason: Yeah. What I say is that generally, when you ask someone out and your intention is to find the right partner, you generally aren’t thinking about, “Well, I just want to get them in bed and sleep with them on the first date.” And so, in the same business realm, it’s about getting to know relationships and then finding the right relationships for what you want to do that also helps them. I mean, there’s this crazy thing in business where we feel like we’re doing it alone. We feel like it’s an upward battle, and often it’s because we aren’t finding the right people to play with. It’s that simple!
Indigo: So that whole aspect of doing it alone versus playing with others when we create, would you say that for the vast majority… you can never say anything a 100%, but as close as one can get to reasonably saying “people” … Would you say that people in business in general benefit from having collaboration in business instead of doing it alone?
Jason: Oh yeah! Because how many times have we met a business owner that offers things and their list isn’t growing so they burn out their list on their offerings. So that’s a perfect example of doing it alone. How often have we met someone that we can see their content start to get stale because they’re just in their own blind spot. And so…
Indigo: So that…
Jason: Go ahead.
Indigo: In those examples, what does collaboration bring in to solve those 2 problems?
Jason: Well, because where two or more people connect, you always get a better view than just one person’s viewpoint.
Indigo: So would that look like they would still send to the same e-mail list, but they’d be just sharing content from other people? Or that they’re having conversations with other people, so their ideas are stimulated, so there’s still writing it alone. Or is it sending to the other person’s list?
Jason: Yes! I’ve seen all those happen. So, I think part of it is, if you’re coming with a true heart of wanting to connect and create, then all the details can get worked out. You know in business, we often say, “What’s in it for me?” Like that’s what the audience is looking at, “What’s in it for me?” And I think that’s a really good question to ask when you are starting to look for strategic alliances. Like when you can show up and do collaborative projects that are, “What’s in it for them?” Wel, they organically don’t do this piece and I organically do this piece. Let me go over there and do what I do and let them do what they do.
Indigo: So when you’re looking for someone that you could do this with, what are elements that you are looking for? You mentioned one right there, that there’s like this synergy. You complement each other in some way. What are other things you would look for?
Jason: Skill sets different than your own. So for me personally, I’m a mad scientist. I’m not detail oriented by nature. I am bright and shiny, like I get distracted easily, although I meditate everyday. I do Chi Gong. Like for me to sit with a spreadsheet and form logistics takes a lot of energy for me. For me to teach a class, at a professor level, to teach online, to create ideas about synergistic events coming together. Really easy skill sets for me.
So, a specific example, I co-published a book last year and I found someone that already had experience with self-publishing that was detail oriented. I’m not by nature a good writer, but I love video, I do a lot of video. So I actually found 12 acupuncturist in the nation that are killing it. Like really not starving, but killing it in the medicine and I interviewed each of them. And then, my co-producer… my co-author, transcribed the transcript and started to be able to filter from that. So although we co-produced the book, I took my skill sets; Bonnie took her skill sets; we created a great finished product.
Indigo: You each came from your strengths and so many times in HR or personal development, people will say, “Don’t keep trying to work on your weaknesses. Build up your strengths.” And it’s like you are going even beyond that and saying, “Look, if there’s something you want to achieve, achieve it anyway. Just find someone else who has the strength that complements your strengths.” You’re not even making a sacrifice to only focus on your strengths.
Jason: So two things. One is, yes and no. Like I’m gonna always challenge… not always, but there’s times I’m gonna challenge a viewpoint and that is… people say, “Always go for the strengths.” But there’s times like… an example right now: I have a client who just has resisted social media. And the resistance of social media has created a dip in her accessibility, her visibility. So now she may need to learn a little bit about social media, which for some especially… I don’t know your age, but in my age range, that’s a learning curve, right? And for her…
Indigo: But why wouldn’t she just hire someone who has that skill set?
Jason: We’ve had that conversation, and I’m a true believer that just hiring someone loses the integrity, that you have to be a collaborator even there. If you try to outsource everything, you are probably in business for an exit strategy. And I’m not against people that just create businesses to make money, it’s just not my thing. I’m a person that says….
You know, I see on there [in the comments] someone saying, “Can you offer a definition of collaboration?” Selena is asking that. And to me what that is, it’s like your chi and their chi comes together into a synergistic approach where you’re headed the same direction to meet a goal. That’s collaboration!
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