As an artist I am often asked to collaborate on different creative projects with other artists, poets or musicians but how does a person gage whether a collaboration is working?
Here is a list of questions and answers that can help you to decide if your collaboration is working well.
Is there trust?
Trust is a key element in a healthy partnership. It is not built on words but through actions and evidence. When there is trust partners are more able to address issues as they arise in a respectful way.
Is there consensus?
In any partnership or collaboration conflict is to be expected. Conflict is different than a fight as fights tend to be personal and emotional. In a healthy partnership conflict is dealt with by discussing differences and then coming to a mutual consensus that is beneficial to the people involved and the project you are working on.
Are you and your partner able to embrace change?
One thing you can count on is change. When changes need to happen it is important to be clear with your communication so as to help your partner understand why the change is necessary.
Are you self aware?
It is really important to be clear on what you want and need from your partner. Also it is essential to understand that how we see ourselves may be different than how others perceive us.
Is there structure?
Without structure things go into chaos. Having the right amount of structure is important but try not to have so much as to stifle innovation.
Are decisions being made?
It helps to delegate different roles depending on the variety of strengths and skills each person bring to a partnership. Some decisions are independent and some our collaborative but a decision is better than no decision. One of the most important decisions is picking a collaborator that you can trust and respect who also has respect for you.
Is there recognition?
Recognition validates people’s creativity, strengths and inspires both partners to do there best work.
Is there open communication?
Continuous communication bonds people together and brings clarity to the group project.
Are you learning something?
We all want to learn and grow and the best learning comes from having experiences. We even learn something by not having a good collaboration. It is valuable to continue to collaborate with other artists etc. as you can create amazing projects that you wouldn’t have been able to do alone.
I hope this is a helpful guide when collaborating with other creative folks and I encourage you to find people you can work with to create wonderful and imaginative joint projects!