What is social collaboration?

April 1, 2016

Social collaboration is a popular notion. It’s used by so many to refer to how they work with others. But what is it? Why are we attracted to the notion? Social collaboration begins with listening to others. Listening without interruption. Listening without judgment. Listening without preoccupation. Listening because we love listening. Listening is how we learn. Within organizations, listening quiets the culture and brings to focus productivity and living and working well together.


Listening brings forth understanding. Understanding is an interesting notion. After listening to someone, we might say, “Ahh, I understand you now.” But I see understanding differently. Understanding is a feeling those we listen to have about our listening. “She understands us.”

When this quality of understanding happens trust emerges in our relational network. We trust others when we realize that they listen to us so they can understand us. And they wish to understand us because of they care for our wellbeing. Trusting is trusting listening and understanding will be conserved. When trusting happens we collaborate. And what do we collaborate on? It could be anything! But what our social collaboration is founded on is our mutual care and concern for living and working well together.

I have often visualized social collaboration as a circular flow in our relations .

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