29 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 296 2018 cross-understandings? Or is there that built understanding developed out of co-created working definitions, which McGovern15 points out as an effective tool for radical collaboration? As a leader or participant in a group in any setting, it is necessary to be sensitive to the interaction types that are occurring and how collaboration modes are evolving. Language use both defines and betrays us. Listening to how a group speaks can reveal how they have defined themselves with the limits they have committed to work within, whether narrow or expansive. Equally, language affects how individuals are perceived in collaboration settings, and may betray our best intentions when it is assumed to indicate our implicit understandings and perspectives. We each have a responsibility within a group to listen with the assumption of good intentions and to speak in ways that can be heard. Coming to a shared use of language is a difficult and important part of forming shared goals, a shared mental model, and a shared commitment to engage in radical collaboration. In building institutional data management services, language also has an important signaling effect. Given the wide variety of institutional groups that must work together to form a robust service,16 it is rare that we will ever all mean the same thing when we use words like “repository” or “workflow” or even “data.” Taking the time to work through assumptions and having a willingness to adapt understandings and language usage is imperative. Another way to term this is to deploy a caring curiosity: when you care enough to really figure out what it is an individual means and how they understand the challenge. It takes a level of confidence to accept spaces of ambiguity in this radical collaboration process and to work through them in a manner that is respectful and demonstrates hospitality to others’ ideas. Bringing Everyone to the Table The metaphor of the table, particularly the roundtable, is useful here. If you are taking on the role of establishing a collaboration space, this is
Previous Page Next Page