Before Collaborating, Ask Yourself These 7 Questions

Collaborating with someone is a good idea. When you have a God-given dream, you may have to start alone. But God doesn’t mean for us to continue carrying it out alone. There’s an African Proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

How do you know if the person to collaborate with is the right fit?

Ask yourself these seven questions:

Collaborating with Aligned Core Values

1. Are our core values in alignment?

For my entire body to work properly, I need to be in alignment. I see a chiropractor to ensure that happens. And believe me I know when I’m out of alignment. I start having pain in my shoulders and my lower back. The chiropractor finds the areas in my spine that are out of alignment and causing me problems, and then he adjusts them and brings them back into alignment so I can live without pain.

Our CORE VALUES need to be complete alignment before collaborating with someone, or it won’t work, and there will be problems down the road.

You can compromise on some things, but you should never compromise on your core values.

In order find out if your CORE values align with someone else’s, you first need to know what your CORE values are. Think of a bullseye with concentric circles. The center of the bullseye are things that you will NOT compromise on. They are values like honesty, integrity, kindness, family, and loyalty. Before collaborating, ask yourself:

  • Do we both share faith in Jesus Christ and what He accomplished on the cross?
  • Are we in agreement when it comes to honesty and integrity?
  • Do we both hold loyalty and compassion in the highest regard?

Collaborating with the Same or Similar Goals

2. Are we wanting to accomplish the same or SIMILAR GOALS?

You cannot be yoked with someone else who has different goals. In Bible times, a yoke was a wooden brace that was placed on two animals that were pulling a plow TOGETHER. They arrived at the SAME destination. They plowed the SAME lines. The reached their desired goals together.

Can you imagine what would be accomplished and the trouble it would cause if the two animals were constantly trying to go in different directions. They wouldn’t get anywhere, and they wouldn’t accomplish anything.

They’d be spending all their time fighting for the way they wanted to go.

Integrity is so important

3. Is this person’s PUBLIC LIFE CONGRUENT with their PRIVATE LIFE? Does what they SAY match how they LIVE?

  • Is this person one way on social media, but a totally different way in real life?
  • Do they hide behind a persona?
  • Are they preaching one thing and living another?

Character is Important When Thinking About Collaborating

4. Do I know their CHARACTER?

Have you had enough time to learn what their character was like for yourself? If you haven’t, do you know people who can speak to their character? People you trust. Do they value their reputation more than their character? Reputation is what people think about us. Character is what God knows about us to be true.

Collaborating with Someone Should Not Be Chaotic

5. Do I have PEACE?

You will either have peace to move forward, or you won’t. At this point, no matter how amazing the opportunity is: Don’t proceed! In this situation, it’s best to wait for God’s peace. Maybe it’s not the right person, the right timing, or you just need more information? Regardless of the reason, don’t do it.

Knowing Our Strengths and Weaknesses Help When Collaborating with Someone

6. Do you know what your STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES are? And do they know theirs?

It’s great to know where you shine, but do you know where you’re weak? Do you know the areas you will need help? Knowing both our strengths and weaknesses is vital to a flourishing relationship. It’s an amazing thing when two people working together have a good handle on these things because where one person is weak, the other is strong and vice versa.

I’m a visionary. I need people in my life who will help me stay the course and see the vision to completion or until the Lord releases me from it. If I collaborated with another visionary, we’d both be in trouble. We wouldn’t accomplish anything.

When both people know their strengths and weaknesses, they can potentially build an amazing long-term partnership. A great example of this in my own life are the women who God’s brought around me at my church. I had a vision for creating women’s events, and the women who are stewarding that vision with me are amazing in areas where I stink. They don’t want to create the events or speak at them, but they are amazing at decorating and setting the stage for the event.

Unspoken Expectations Can Make Thing Difficult

7. What expectations do we each have?

It pays to sit down with this person and have a conversation about expectations. Sometimes people go into partnerships without even realizing they had expectations, but those expectations are always playing in the background influencing what is said and done.

Unspoken expectations are the dynamite that a spark of conflict can set off!

I can’t tell you how many times my husband and I had differing expectations we didn’t realize we had about something, and it ended up in conflict. It would have only taken a conversation or two to bring them to the surface to avoid that conflict. But we just assumed we were each on board with the other.

Other episodes in the Collaborating in Community Series: