Common Ground at Work: from Disaster to Success

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Can we learn to love (or at least not hate) teamwork? Tune in for expert tips on finding common ground.

Collaboration is seen as a given in working life. Being part of a team means cooperating with others on all kinds of projects. But the reality is few of us learn how to collaborate. And when a collaboration fails it can leave such bad scars that the people involved never want to work together again.

With the stresses that have come with the Covid years – including the online workplace – many of us have found our collaboration skills tested to their limits.

In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, we speak with professor and collaboration expert Dr. Deb Mashek, author of the forthcoming book Collabor(hate): how to build incredible collaborative relationships at work (even if you’d rather work alone).

Deb found that three-quarters of people have been in at least one collaboration they loathed. But she says if more of us learn some simple skills, these kinds of disasters can be avoided and we’ll be able to find a lot more common ground. An expert on the psychology of human relationships, she gives examples of terrible collaborations that turned into successful ones. She also reveals how her own difficult childhood was the basis for her fascination with human relationships and how to make them work.

Read the Episode Transcript

Ep 73 – Common Ground at Work: from Disaster to Success

Dr. Deb Mashek

Dr. Deb Mashek, PhD is an experienced business advisor, professor, higher education administrator, and national nonprofit executive. She is the author of the forthcoming book Collabor(h)ate: How to build incredible collaborative relationships at work (even if you’d rather work alone). Named one of the Top 35 Women in Higher Education by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, she has been featured in media outlets including MIT Sloan Management Review, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Business Week. She writes regularly for Psychology Today.

Previously Full Professor of Social Psychology at Harvey Mudd College, Deb also served as the inaugural Executive Director of Heterodox Academy, a national nonprofit advancing constructive disagreement on college campuses.

Deb is the founder of Myco Consulting LLC, where she applies relationship science to help people collaborate better and to help business leaders navigate the relationship headwinds that tank timelines, bottom lines, and well-being.

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