I think it was Belouis Some who said “collaboration, will make a man of you” back in the 1980’s. Okay he didn’t, but he should have. Sadly you all too regularly read tweets and message board postings similar to the one below.
Now I know this tweet was a joke but sadly this kind of attitude is all too common and depresses me, the one thing that sets human beings apart from all the other species is our ability to share information and collaborate. No one was born with all the knowledge in the world, although many people would try to convince you otherwise, therefore it is so important that people share what we learn.
This is the one thing that has made the internet so great, people discover something and share it (for free) for all the world to see. Without this the internet would no doubt only be used by a few industries and you wouldn’t be reading this now, eventually it’d end up on the scrap heap like Sony’s Mini-Disc (they wouldn’t allow any other company to release recorded music on them so they never took off). Just like Sony, many see sharing information as something that may give a rival some form of advantage.
No team or individual can thrive without absorbing information from others, so to possibly think you should never collaborate shows a total lack of empathy. Fine if you’re a contractor and only at a company to complete a one-off task that will be never be required again. I’m not saying individuals should tell everyone what they have done and post everything they know on the internet, but if someone needs help and you can help, don’t be mean, just help them.
I once went for an interview at the local university for a Web Developer role, in the first 5 minutes I was informed by my two potential colleagues that if I needed any information I should find it for myself and not keep asking questions. I was so confused and almost offended by this statement and their utter ignorance that the interview ended there and then for me. I sat the rest of it out of course and blatently lied several times during the interview saying I had no experience in basic tasks they were asking me about. I just wanted to go…
You also see this in bands all the time, before they’re famous they work as a team and once they’re successful the egos of one or two individual destroy the thing that made them great.
So that’s my little rant over, I feel better now. But please take note if you are manager, business owner or just a colleague, you’ll make your day so much easier for yourself and those around you if you work together.
Be kind to each other!