Collaborative Intelligence Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Collaborative Intelligence helps you enhance your unique thinking traits and develop an individualized form of intelligence based on what works best for you, what your strengths are, and how you communicate with others.

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Collaborative Intelligence Summary

Shared economy is a concept that’s taking off nowadays. Simply put, it is an economic model based on peer-to-peer relationships. If you want to make it in this type of market, you have to know a thing or two about collaboration and teamwork. 

Collaborative Intelligence by Dawna Markova starts on the premise that we’ve been trained for a market-share economy, where value is placed on things, and success is measured in assets like cash and ownership. In this type of environment, leaders differentiate from the rest and impose total control over the people they work with. 

In a mind-share economy, we measure wealth in relationships and ideas. The world evolves when we’re communicating and brainstorming. For this reason, it is of great importance to listen to our colleagues, relatives and friends, and exchange ideas. 

Today, we’re experiencing a mix of these economies. We can measure success in both assets and the value of an idea. We can share and cooperate to reach common goals. Therefore, we have to adapt to both mentalities.

The book suggests that collaborating and reaching out to others will open our minds to different perspectives and create a space for growth. By doing this, we can thrive in a mind-share economy while performing and transforming the market-share one.

Here are my three favorite lessons from this book:

  1. Attention can be divided into three categories, all of which are valuable
  2. Focus on your talents and mind patterns to improve communication
  3. Understanding different cognitive styles in your team can improve communication between members

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Lesson 1: Depending on the situation, we’ve got three types of attention.

Attention – What is it? Well, it is about who and what you notice and how you choose to regulate that information. You can fix it, train it and shift it, depending on your interests. Perhaps that is why we always hear “make sure who you give your attention to!’’. 

The first type of attention is focused attention. As the name suggests, we use it when concentrating on one thing and ignoring everything else. It is a targeted form of thought, quite helpful in achieving a specific goal, but detrimental when we’re sitting at the computer and ignoring everything else around us. 

The second type of attention is called sorting. We particularly use it when we are going back and forth considering different variables. Again, we shift our attention from internal to external, categorizing information and digesting it to form a final opinion. 

Lastly, we’ve got open attention. When we’re engaged in this type of attention, our focus is diffused, and we can get more creative. We access memories and images in our brains and create new ideas and thoughts. 

Although society has taught us that focused attention makes us most productive, Collaborative Intelligence implies a mix between these attention types and knowing when to use each one depending on the situation.

Lesson 2: Become aware of your mind patterns and your strengths to better communicate with others.

Although it may sound like an overworked phrase, everybody’s unique in their own way. And this is both a cliche and a psychological fact. We all have different mind patterns and triggers. Therefore, we have to learn how to get the best out of them.

Some people find it helpful to walk while thinking, as it helps them be more focused. Some function in perfect silence, taking small breaks and then going back to work. Identify which are the best ways to help you stay focused and understand things in detail.

Then, work on understanding and perfecting it. Once you do, it’ll be much easier to adapt to certain conversations, meetings, and working sessions. And to make the best of them, try asking people which communication tools they find most helpful.

For example, you can try implementing small focus groups and large brainstorming sessions and ask for feedback for each to see how your team performs best. Markova suggests implementing a ‘’moving around’’ routine to engage your team’s creativity and have them work more dynamically by standing up or walking.

Lesson 3: Improve team communication by understanding cognitive skills.

For efficient collaboration, a good leader has to know their team members. And they as well have to know their own strengths and how to make the best of them. If you feel like you’re still struggling to find your best qualities, a cognitive skills test could help you. 

A quick look into cognitive styles may help you realize your strengths and preferred ways of thinking. To find out, you first have to know that our brain is sectioned into two hemispheres: right and left, both having two quadrants of thinking.

In the right hemisphere, we have relational thinking, inclined towards feelings, teamwork, morale, and human connection. The second quadrant is about innovation, anticipating the future, creating possibilities, and trying different strategies.

There’s a clear preference for facts, data, numbers, and rational thinking in the left hemisphere. Moreover, there’s a quadrant that focuses on procedural thinking, including operations, tactics, and step-by-step processes. 

Each human is associated with a cognitive style and a natural inclination towards left or right. Understanding this may help you organize your team based on their sweet and blind spots and get the most out of each of them. 

Moreover, you can foster a learning environment where people are knowledgeable in their field based on their cognitive style and have to learn to work with their least gifted side. This can increase personal growth and create a challenging and attractive workplace.

Collaborative Intelligence Review

Collaborative Intelligence offers great advice on adapting to the working environment by focusing on your mental strengths. It helps readers understand their cognitive styles and shows how to use them to be most effective in their work. Understanding this book allows individuals to better connect with each other and increase teamwork efficiency.

Who would I recommend the Collaborative Intelligence summary to?

The team leader who wants to enhance team spirit or someone working with people. For example, an executive who wants to motivate his company’s personnel. I would also recommend the book to the person fascinated by cognitive intelligence.

Last Updated on May 25, 2023

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.