“All I do is WIN, WIN, WIN, no matter what!”  The song is played out like an A-track, but the message is clear. DJ Khaled, love him or hate him, one thing is sure. Almost every artist that collaborates with DJ Khaled ends up with a hit. And I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to learn the secret.

So, let’s get into it. Let’s talk about the importance of collaboration and the keys (see what I did there) to structuring both your life AND business in such a way that lends itself to creating an atmosphere for win/win opportunities.  Most business and even some personal relationships can be categorized a few different ways:

Competitive:  It’s typically pitting one against the other, which is always bad.  But, you can create great team adhesiveness by doing team building exercise that evokes the competitive spirit in team members.

Compromising:  It’s a give and take, each gives a lil but doesn’t get all of what they want.  It’s definitely a good way to manage conflict.

Accommodating:  Giving up what you want to appease the other person.  Usually the person giving up what they want, has an “I don’t want to fight about it”, “it’s ok” or “I’m trying to be reasonable” attitude.  But do you think they are totally happy about it or just trying to keep the peace?

Collaborating:  Collaboration is “the action of working with someone to produce or create something”. But what does that really mean? Technically, you can work with someone to produce or create something, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s beneficial to both parties.

So, what does building win/win collaboration look like? When you are collaborating with someone be it business or personal, no matter the industry, you both are integrating your own ideas and talents and bringing your own energy and excitement to the project.

Here are my 4 Tips to creating collaborative spaces where everyone wins!

  1. Create a space where new ideas are welcome and can be shared without limitation; this is often where most major issues and problems are solved.
  2. Create a space where no one person is gaining more than the other. No parties involved in the collaboration should feel slighted or like they are getting less than.  If this is the case, they won’t want to do business with you again.
  3. Create a space that allows for mutual respect; where everyone feels as though “they and their ideas matter”. Discuss facts, research, pro’s, and con’s in a respectable manner.  There should be no name calling or abusive language.
  4. Create a space where all parties have a sense of ownership. We all know that people innately care more about the things that directly affect them or that they have vested interest in.  (Ex. When a child first buys their first gadget or item they saved up for, they treat it like it’s gold.  It’s a simple fact that people just take better care of the things they pay for vs. things that are given to them).  So, having that sense of ownership will lead to people being more committed. And that’s what you what.  People that are committed to your project/collaboration’s success.

So now that you’ve created Harmonious Space for creating limitless ideas, no one feels slighted, there is mutual respect and appreciation, and everyone is committed to winning, what’s next?  How do we solidify the WIN?

It’s Negotiation Time!  If you aren’t a good negotiator, there’s a book called “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury that you may want to read.

Here are MY 6 Tips on “Sealing the Deal”:

  1. Break down the Absolute’s and Nice to Have’s. Evaluate all the great ideas everyone has come up with and rank them by importance for each stakeholder.  This is a good time to listen intently, so you understand each party’s purview.
  2. Negotiate the Absolute’s then add in the nice to have’s as part of your deal. Again, this negotiation process isn’t personal; you are building a Win/Win scenario!  It’s ok to not like something so long as you in turn are getting what you need as well.
  3. Build the Deal/Contract. Put it all together with your terms, conditions, deliverable, and exchange of monies.  Remember, at any time, if you don’t feel comfortable that this is a win for you, you have the power to walk away.
  4. Sign the Deal/Contract. Make sure you review every word and understand every stipulation listed before signing.  I always advise that you have an attorney draw up all your contracts.  Ensure all parties sign before executing the contract.
  5. Deliver on your promise. Whatever you agreed to deliver in the terms and conditions; do it!  Do it on time or ahead of schedule.  If you know you will have a delay (because we all know things happens) notify all parties well in advance so everyone can adjust and agree to new timelines.
  6. Evaluate your success. When it’s over, evaluate your success. What went well, what didn’t go so well.  How likely are you to do business with this person or company again based on those factors?  If all went well, Repeat.

Listen, no one gets to the top by themselves. Not Oprah, not Steve Jobs, not Beyoncé. Everyone can benefit from having the right team of people behind them.  And the top is so much sweeter when you have people to share the rewards with!

Until next time,

Renay Butler