How to Identify and Avoid Collaboration Overload in the New Year

Dec 15, 2021 | Partner News


By Jeff Haden, Inc. columnist, small business expert and Gusto blog contributor

Collaboration is a good thing. 

But collaboration tool overload—and with it, collaboration overload—is also a thing.

Take meetings, whether formal or informal, long considered the go-to mode for collaboration. Conference room gatherings and chats theoretically create an excellent opportunity to problem-solve together, think more creatively and build upon and enhance each other’s ideas. 

Except meetings also tend to make people dumber. 

Collaboration can make team members less smart.

Virginia Tech study found that individual IQs dropped approximately 15 percent when people were assigned to small groups and asked to solve a problem. Why? The underlying premise of creating a team, however temporary—in short, creating an environment where collaboration can take place—is that ideas can be floated, feedback can be shared and the best ideas can not only rise to the top but also be improved by the power of the group. 

Unfortunately, “junior” members of the group—whether in hierarchy or just in terms of their own perception of their “status” within the group—are most likely to experience the momentary drop in IQ.  

Click here to read the complete Gusto blog, including how large group collaboration can result in groupthink and how to recognize and get rid of collaboration overload.

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