Collaboration is always difficult, but a true necessity. This weekend I attended a student conference in regards to unionizing, mobilizing and politicizing students in the United States. Although that in itself was a stimulating experience, that evening I traveled back to the distant lands of Palmdale, California to visit family. I talked with a friend of the family over dinner that evening, who is notorious for taking over the conversations. She asked me about the conference, its purpose, and what I expected to come of it. The conversation quickly escalated to a debate in front of the family which escalated, not to a stage of anger, but simply to that of momentary loss of reason. In the end of it all, she agreed on the principles and approach of the movement, but not the specific example or “target” of University President that I used to drive that example. I live for these conversations, whether right or wrong I always feel I take something away, and I was pleasantly surprised at what she said, halfway through our debate, “if we agree or not it is always good to learn to talk to other people who have different view points, and learn to deal with them!”
I love her for saying this, since this is one of the main driving points of collaboration. Yes, most of the time you will have a wonderful group, and everything goes smooth and everything is fine. But that is not always the case, sometimes we will not agree with the viewpoints of others, but you still have a common goal you must work with. At this moment, I have a co-worker whom I know is very smart and intelligent and I recognize this in him, however, I feel his drive needs immediate improvement. But I must recognize the fact that, that may be an area which can improve but will never meet my expectation—and that is ok. I must learn to make up for that deficit and his intelligence and background will make up for some of my own. It will not be easy, and we will not agree, but it is human nature and it is something I must constantly strive to remind myself of. With that said, dealing and engaging with different perspectives will only expand your own perspective, and I find that an essential quality to have.