Habit of Collaboration

Habit of Collaboration
Parent Personal Integrity check
  1. I do not like sharing my ideas with a group because I think it is unfair.
  2. I will only work as much as other people in my group work.
  3. I have ask my child’s teacher to move him to another class or group because I do not like his group mates who are not as smart as him.

Teaching children to work well with others is a skill they need if you want them to be successful. They will need to know themselves, what roles they can play in a group, how to negotiate, and rally others behind an idea that they may have. The habit of collaboration is especially important for a future entrepreneur, who will need others to support his ideas and customers to by his products.

How can the Habit of Collaboration be developed
Learn to work within a team.
I know of parents who believe that because their child is so intelligent and competent, he should be given individual work instead of group work.  These kids end up dictating to others, not listening to other ideas and doing all the work. Inasmuch as parents should maximize their child’s potential. They also have to teach children the value of teamwork. Lyndon Johnson’s wise words were, “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves”. Encourage children to help others without being asked, to help them gain the habit of collaboration.

Leadership is for everyone. As the founder of an MI School, advocate to children that they are all capable of being a leader in an area of strong intelligence and interest. However, being a leader means that they should be willing to pay the price for their vision. Children often complain to their parents, “It’s not fair! I do all the work in our group!” I tell parents that before they share their child’s perspective. They should take the opportunity to teach them how to lead. Tell children two things: the first is “equal is not always the same”. God gave us different gifts and intelligences. Tell your group mates what needs to be done and ask them to volunteer what they can do best. The second is “to whom much is given, much expected.” Leaders will always do what is necessary to get the job done, that is why they are leaders. Entrepreneurs always see what others do not see.

Share your strengths and recognize your limitations. Teach children to be aware of what they are good at so that they can contribute it to the group. They should also be aware of their weaknesses so that they can invite others to work with them. One time, a group of children worked on a book about the Philippine rainforest. Immediately, children took on different roles: “I am picture smart, I can draw”, “I am work smart, I can help think of the store”, “I am nature smart I can research about the animals”, etc. it was non competitive but collaborative. Get siblings to work together at home to practice collaboration and don’t forget to reinforce their self-awareness and self-esteem by acknowledging their strengths. For example, “Let’s make over this room. Ana, you’re picture smart, what color do you think we should use? Ben, you are body smart and can paint evenly, can you help me with that wall?”

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