#WFH: Did I Take That Email The Wrong Way?
Collaboration in virtual teams and the social networks is often a fantasy. Self-centered attitudes and disinhibitions may serve the self but not take the needs of others into consideration. Yet online independence has to reflect more than just achieving your own goals and desires. Independence has to mean thinking and behaving in a way that meets your own requirements but also takes others into consideration. You have to be independent enough to look at what you are thinking and realize how that is being interpreted in the virtual world. Self-centered disinhibitions can make collaboration difficult in many cases.
We have all had an email taken the wrong way. We have all experienced someone’s temper when the meaning was truly and totally benign. Independence here is the ability to stop automatic thoughts and be aware of how your behavior is being interpreted by others. This includes being aware when your own interpretations of others are exaggerated, biased or just wrong. Once you become aware of your own independent thoughts, you can begin to interact successfully with others.
Collaboration is about trusting each other enough to open up and share our talents in order to achieve something. When we are trying to achieve something, we can put ourselves under stress and when we are stressed we can revert to old behavior patterns that may no longer serve us. This is why the ability to act with autonomy is so important for successful collaboration.
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