We learn to share in day one of kindergarten (if not long before). Of course, what we learn to “share” are things, like toys. Then we learn to share friends. We learn to share time. When we fall in love we learn to share our dreams and desires. Sharing is a basic social contruct — in fact, societies could never survive without it.
In business, there are (at least) three types of sharing that are important: information, skills, and recognition. Sharing information is critical to help us make better decisions. Sharing our skills allows us to both diversify and specialize because we utilize the indvidual and unique skills that each of us can bring to a problem. Recognition in all of its forms is important because it demonstrates that we are part of a team and that the team is grateful for our participation.
Look at your team, your department, your office. How would you rate it in terms of its ability to share. Is information free-flowing or does it get bottled up somewhere? Do people pitch in to help with their unique skills or do they hang back with a “it’s not my job” attitude (or, conversely, do people not ask others to help because they think it would make them look weak)? Do you receive feedback from the work you do?
Share your thoughts and concerns with others and certainly your boss. Sharing is crucial to your success. Fortunately, it’s easy to do, if you put your mind to it. After all, it’s only child’s play.