Book Review: Collabor(h)ate by Dr. Deb Mashek


By Deb Mashek, PhD



The Premise:

Collaboration is something that many people struggle with, and this is likely rooted in two reasons – relationships are difficult, and everyone has had a frustrating experience collaborating in a group. Who hasn’t had a traumatic high school or post secondary group project?! But collaboration is critical to help us feel connected and engaged at work and to help us achieve our goals. Mashek provides a helpful two-dimensional framework called the Mashek Matrix to help identify where your relationship is at and understand how to move from “collabor(hate)” to “collaborGREAT”. She identifies how to put up boundaries around collaborating and also how to identify the “what’s in it for me”. She provides a DIY workshop on applying ideas from this matrix into your world at work and beyond work.


The Bottomline:

As someone who considers myself a good collaborator, I was wondering what I’d learn from this. Low and behold, there were many new and helpful messages. I found the Mashek Matrix very helpful, and particularly enjoyed the marriage metaphor she applies to this, which you can see by watching our latest webinar with Deb about this book. I liked her message that just because you are collaborating with someone “for now”, that doesn’t mean “forever”. Collaboration should lead to mutual benefit and is like other things you can put boundaries around. When dealing with difficult people, naming it, and being curious about what they’re struggling with goes a long way. Lastly, given the important role collaboration plays in our friendships, family, community and life beyond work, I liked her messages to consider how these principles apply to life.



This is an important topic and I’d recommend this book for anyone that is required to collaborate in life! There were many great takeaways and there’s the added bonus of our recent webinar with Deb Mashek on this book. Check it out here! [hyperlink to webinar?]

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