April 25, 2023

252: Facilitate Powerful Collaborations with Deb Mashek

Collaboration is essential for success in today’s workplace. No matter how much intelligence and creativity any individual possesses, collaboration between team members always leads to better results. Collaboration allows team members to pool their ideas and expertise, leading to more creative, diverse, and innovative solutions while leveraging each person’s strengths. Plus, team members who experience successful collaborations feel more engaged and satisfied at work.

Today’s guest is Deb Mashek. Deb is a social psychologist who helps business leaders navigate the relationship headwinds that tank timelines, bottom lines, and well-being. An experienced business advisor, professor, and nonprofit executive, her writing appears in MIT-Sloan Management Review, Fortune, ReWorked, The Hechinger Report, and Psychology Today. Deb has been an invited speaker on collaboration and viewpoint diversity at leading organizations including the United Nations and the American Psychological Association. She is the international bestselling author of Collabor(h)ate.

We talk about how to foster successful collaborations within your team and organization. What are different ways we work together that we might call collaboration, what are the factors that go into collaboration, and how do you improve each of them or deal with it when things aren’t going well.

Members of the Modern Manager community get a recording of Deb’s 1-Hour Workshop on Deep Collaboration, which will equip you to identify and overcome the collaboration headwinds that are holding back your organization. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community.

Get FREE mini-sketchnotes with the big idea from the week’s episode delivered to your inbox when you subscribe to my weekly email.

Read the related blog article: How to Build Strong Collaborations (Even When Your Team Can’t Stand Each Other)


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/debra-mashek/

Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@debmashek

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DebMashek

Instagram: www.instagram.com/debmashek/


  • 00:00 Intro
  • 02:00 What counts as collaboration?
  • 03:32 What does ‘successful’ collaboration mean?
  • 05:07 The importance of relationships
  • 10:08 How integrated should we be with our co-workers?
  • 11:50 Four quadrants of collaboration, with examples
  • 19:52 How to increase the quality of your relationships
  • 26:51 A great manager Deb has worked for
  • 28:47 Keeping up with Deb
  • 30:00 [Extended episode only] How to increase interdependence
  • 31:19 [Extended episode only] Creating a strong collaborative ecosystem
  • 34:47 [Extended episode only] What skills and competencies can we develop to become better collaborators?
  • 37:25 [Extended episode only] Software and tools for effective collaboration



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