What TED Talks Have Taught Me About Collaboration

What TED Talks Have Taught Me About Collaboration

Collaboration is the secret ingredient of many of the world’s greatest innovations, works of art, and social advances. I’ve used TED Talks to research this blog post about collaboration. You can learn to take advantage of collaboration for better results in college. I don’t mean top marks. I mean a full-on, superbetter moment that will carry you forward.

Too often, we consider college coursework a solitary practice. You attend a class, research a paper, and read or practice homework problems alone. It’s time to consider a new strategy. In his TED Talk ,“The New Power of Collaboration,” Howard Rheingold tracks the way humans have used sharing to empower themselves.  Sharing is in your best interest.

Share the workload. Share your knowledge and skills with others. If you are good at proofreading papers, share that skill with your friends through tutoring. If you have an interesting connection but can’t get the words down, talk out your idea with a friend who can capture your thoughts into words. Peer tutor another student. Hire a peer tutor for consistent and relatable homework help. That’s not cheating. It’s using your collaboration capacity and it empowers everyone on the team.

We have to break the mythology of the single genius. There is no solitary genius. The process of collaboration is messy, iterative and interrelated. That’s ok and normal. And really, when in life is there a better environment for messiness than college?

The trick, according to Linda Hill in her TED Talk, “How to Manage for Collective Creativity,” is organizing the talents and passions of other people into work that is meaningful. Change from looking at your class work as a single endeavor. Find others who want to experience the class with a high grade or enjoy the classes subject and organize around that common thread. That is the “meaningful” component that will motivate everyone and produce top results.

Peer to peer networks redefine what friend and neighbor mean, explains Rachel Botsman in her TED talk. Collaboration improves the value of community. College maximizes the power of community. That design encourages peer to peer collaboration interaction.

It’s going to take a leap of faith. Trust is the social glue that binds our communities together.  College is a safe environment to explore the interplay between trust and reputation. That space lets complete strangers structure strong communities. Botsman calls this reputation capital.

Motee lets you build your reputation capital.  Express compliments and gratitude for your friends actions on campus. It’s an extension to your campus best qualities.

Everyone has the ability to share their knowledge or skills with someone else who needs them. I invite you to start sharing your skills with your friends and peers.  Enlist others to help grow your own skills. Collaboration is the one common ingredient that makes brilliant innovations and successes.  It is time to rethink college as a solo pursuit and embrace the power of collaboration.

Want to keep reading about the positive benefits of collaboration? Check out Tori Conange’s college lifestyle blog, Chase the Write Dream, and her thoughts on Motee. Or Ali In Bloom’s personal take on collaboration and motivation.