What Do Collaborative Teamwork and Dessert Have in Common?

I spend a good part of my professional life working in Collaborative teams. By bringing to the table the opinions of other professionals such as mental health workers, financial planners, accountants, and/or real estate agents, we are able to come up with creative solutions for clients as they negotiate the terms of their divorce.

Sometimes the value of this kind of team approach is best understood in ordinary, everyday instances.

This spring I was part of what has become an annual “women’s weekend”. A number of women, some of whom I have known for a long time and others whom I have met through this group, get together and spend a relaxing weekend at a large rental home in Plymouth across the street from the ocean.

There is a big front porch with rocking chairs. The spaces that get the most use during our weekend are the porch and the kitchen—with the dining room following closely. We all pitch in, and the cooking and cleaning up is as much fun as the eating and rocking. There’s lots of sharing—of food, stories, challenges, and possible solutions.

This year, we ran into a problem as we were preparing one of our meals. We had whipping cream for one of the desserts, but while we found the beaters, we could not find a mixer, nor could we find a whisk. Fortunately, we knew we had options. For instance, we could have just flavored the cream and used it in liquid form on the fruit. But we wanted to keep looking for a “better” solution.

One of our group went out on an errand. On her way back, she stopped at the “dollar” store and bought a whisk. When it was time for dessert, we poured the cream into a bowl and one of us started whisking.  When she tired, another quickly took over — and then another. We switched it up until—voila—we had whipped cream!

Besides delivering a delicious dessert, we realized we had shown how people could work together to reach a solution. By coming together as a team, we overcame the challenge and enjoyed the outcome even more.

Like my friends and I experienced during our weekend getaway, a good Collaborative team works together with clients to find solutions by brainstorming options, gathering necessary elements, and creating then effecting the resolution that works best in a given situation.

Whatever the dilemma may be, teamwork lightens the load and creates an environment of success. Call me for a consultation to see how Collaborative Teamwork could help you.