Collaborative Intelligence Book Summary By Dawna Markova, Ph.D. and Angie McArthur

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Collaborative Intelligence is a powerful book that offers an in-depth look into the development of personal and collaborative intelligence.

It encourages readers to look at their individual strengths, as well as those of others, in order to create an environment of collaboration and growth.

Throughout the book, readers will be guided by practical and insightful instruction on how to identify and build on their own unique style of thinking while learning to adjust communication accordingly.

This book is sure to become a go-to guide for anyone looking to increase their intelligence level or learn more about developing successful collaborations with others.

Collaborative Intelligence Book

Book Name: Collaborative Intelligence (Thinking with People Who Think Differently)

Author(s): Dawna Markova, Ph.D. and Angie McArthur

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 19 Minutes

Categories: Communication Skills

Author Bio

Dawna Markova is an internationally renowned thinker in the field of human learning, Perception and Collaborative Intelligence.

She's the author of the widely acclaimed book Random Acts of Kindness and a highly sought after consultant who has contributed her knowledge to top universities, businesses and other organizations around the globe.

With her unique perspective on how we learn, how we collaborate and how our perceptions inform our decisions, she provides invaluable insight into optimizing intelligence and productivity.

How To Improve Your Collaborative Intelligence In A Competitive Economy

Competitive Economy

The future economy is looking more collaborative than ever before and if you want to succeed in the coming years, you need to be prepared.

To do this, you’ll need to hone your collaborative intelligence – your ability to collaborate with others and create new ideas together.

At Natures Nutrition, we believe that preparing yourself for this new economy starts with understanding how your brain works differently than everyone else’s.

Knowing how to focus your attention on the task at hand and how to make the most of all meetings are also essential skills for succeeding in a collaborative environment.

Lastly, cultivating a culture of collaboration instead of competition should not be overlooked.

By encouraging an atmosphere where employees feel safe to share their innovative ideas without fear of ridicule or punishment will let ideas soar!

So start sharpening your collaborative skills today so that you can create amazing things with others tomorrow – prepare yourself for the collaborative economy!

How To Shift From Market-Share To Mind-Share Thinking For Collaborative Success

We live in a world where value isn’t just placed on things, but on ideas and the relationships we share.

This is referred to as a ‘mind-share economy‘, and it means that in order to be successful, we need to work well with others and collaborate.

Doing so often requires more than simply striving for individual success; it involves finding common ground with those around you and listening to their perspectives.

This is known as collaborative intelligence; the ability to reach out to others, listen attentively, open your mind and benefit from differences.

In this new era of mind-share economy, collaboration has become an essential skill.

Companies like LinkedIn exemplify the perfect balance between competing and collaboration.

By working together with its competition, LinkedIn has been able to provide direct benefits both parties can take advantage of – all thanks to collaborative intelligence!

Attention: A Closer Look At Our Inner Working And The Three Forms It Takes

In the book Collaborative Intelligence, the authors make it clear that there are three distinct forms of attention: focused, sorting, and open.

Each one is equally valuable and necessary in our lives.

Focused attention allows us to concentrate on a single task or entity and ignore all else.

It makes our thoughts and goals certain, enabling us to achieve those goals.

An everyday example of focused attention is when using a computer, ignoring all else around you as your directed vision stays tightly locked in on the screen before you.

Sorting attention helps us separate information into easily digestible categories so we can understand the wider picture at hand.

It involves back-and-forth movement between internal and external matters while weighing different choices and options.

Understanding How The Three Perceptual Channels Affect Perception And Learning


If you want to be the best version of yourself, understanding how your brain works is key.

Our brains process information using three separate channels – kinesthetic (the way something feels), visual (what we see), and auditory (what we hear) – which can help us form vivid images in our heads.

Brain-wave studies conducted on schoolchildren have found that everyone absorbs information differently.

For instance, some people are more visual focused, while others prefer to rely on listening and talking to understand new concepts.

Combining the three types of attention with the three perceptual channels creates six distinct mind patterns, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Take Jesse, who is visually focused, kinesthetically sorting, and audibly open.

He finds it easy to take on visual tasks thanks to his great visual recall but struggles with learning names and expressing himself in conversations.

Understand Your Own Mind Pattern And Adapt Communication According To Your Conversation Partner For Effective Collaboration

Collaborative Intelligence is all about understanding and connecting with people.

As a first step in this journey, it’s essential to foster awareness of your own mind patterns, including any difficulties you have with communication.

Once you are more conscious of your own thoughts and limitations, you can plan adjust your communication strategies accordingly.

For example, if standing or walking helps you focus better, try having whiteboards and breaks available for silent reflection during meetings.

You can also ask the people around you which forms of communication would help them focus better and incorporate those into the meeting structure.

Following each meeting, take the time to evaluate how different elements of the conversation went.

You should also be mindful of how your behavior affects others.

If someone seems to be speaking too much it might be because they need kinesthetic input in order to shift their focused attention to a sorting or open one, making them more attentive and receptive to input.

Consider starting each day with fifteen-minute team walks where everyone shares their agenda for the day as another way to break up traditional conversation structures and foster collaboration more effectively.

Reveal Your Hidden Talents To Unlock Your Potential At Work

Knowing and articulating your thinking talents is a powerful tool that helps you make the most of yourself in any situation.

Everyone has different talents and it’s important to be able to name, contain and aim them so they can contribute to your team or workplace in the best way possible.

Think of your thoughts like tools — some can help build relationships (intimacy talent), some can make sense of confusing situations (order talent) and others can lead teams to action (take charge talent).

Our society focuses too much on fixing our shortcomings instead of maximizing our strengths, which causes these valuable talents to get lost in the shuffle.

Thankfully, there are ways to communicate your particular talents and make sure they’re used in projects at work.

Start by asking clarifying questions that explain where you come from — “I tend to think very logically, so I just need to ask a few clarifying questions…” This serves two purposes: it allows others to see your perspective as well as allows you to best employ your skills.

Research has found that companies who have their employees use their individualised strengths score higher success ratings.

Unlocking Our Cognitive Styles To Improve Collaboration And Communication


A key to successful teamwork is understanding the cognitive styles and thinking talents of each individual involved.

By identifying these, you can understand where a person’s strengths and weaknesses lie, helping to determine the best roles for each individual in the team.

Ned Hermann’s four cognitive styles – analytical, procedural, relational and innovative thinking – each have their own thought processes.

Everyone tends to have a preferred style and natural sweet spots as well as blind spots, so it’s important to be aware of them when working with others.

Studies show that only 3% of humans have natural talents in every area, meaning many people will do better with certain problem-solving skills than others.

If a team is composed mainly of innovative thinkers with few procedural ones, they may struggle when it comes time to make the idea reality.

Understanding how people think allows us to engage more constructively during conversations and debate.

Rather than reacting negatively towards “yes-but” questions posed by teammates, recognizing different perspectives helps us collaborate better and communicate more effectively.

Embrace Uncertainty To Unleash Your Full Potential By Leveraging The Power Of Questions

Asking questions and accepting uncertainty can be incredibly beneficial to learning and development.

People who understand this can connect with many ideas and people, helping them develop innovative solutions.

Thomas Edison is a great example of this, as even his failures pointed him in the direction of success – he said he had “proved 700 ways in which a bulb didn’t work,” instead of saying he failed.

Questions also provide us with opportunities to create innovation.

Consider the story of George de Mestral, who was walking one day when he noticed a burr stuck to his pant leg.

Instead of simply brushing it off, he chose to use this experience as an opportunity for growth by asking “what could this be used for and what can I learn from it?” The answer lead to him inventing Velcro.

It’s essential to be comfortable with having unanswered questions and not expecting easy solutions – just like mental exercise strengthens our muscles, exploring possibilities without needing answers opens our minds up to uncovering new ideas.

Asking questions leads us to seek help from others and find inspiration that we wouldn’t have found otherwise.

How Asking The Right Questions Can Help You Achieve Success And Clarity

Success And Clarity

The key to making the most of collaborative intelligence lies in the questions that are asked.

By introducing different types of questions, you can free your thinking and broaden your perspective.

In Collaborative Intelligence, success-based inquiries aim to recall past successes and focus on identifying the conditions that made them possible.

One example would be “When did we face a similar challenge before and what did we do to overcome it?” Such inquiry will help you use the collective knowledge within a team to foster a growth mindset.

At the same time, intentional inquiries are designed to clarify your priorities.

When feeling stuck or confused, helpful questions might include “What’s challenging me?” , “What is most important about this?” or “What do I want from this? – All possibilities of getting yourself (and your team) out of a rut.

Additionally, influential questioning that draws upon all four quadrants of cognitive styles brings everyone’s unique perspectives into play for better results.

An analytic question such as “What is the most logical solution?” alongside a procedural one such as “How much time will it take?” will ensure every angle is explored and taken into account during decision making.

So while asking influential, thoughtful questions alone won’t make all things happen on its own; when done appropriately, it reconnects us with our natural strengths and guides us on how else we can tap our potential for success!

How To Maintain Group Attention And Focus On A Common Goal

Focusing on a common goal will help get everyone in your group to work together better.

By sharing and aligning everyone’s attention, you can help to keep the group from becoming disinterested or unfocused.

You can do this by recognizing everyone’s skills and past contributions as well as having each person explain what helps them stay focused on task.

But it doesn’t stop there – making sure that each person has the same intention behind their actions is also important.

This way, you’ll be able to create a unified team that is driven toward achieving the same goal.

To drive home the importance of collaboration, you can pull examples from real life such as when South Africa hosted the World Cup in 1995 just one year after apartheid ended.

By visiting townships and playing with local kids, they were able to unite their nation in order to provide focus, intention and imagination toward winning the cup!

So if you’re looking for ways to create better collaboration between members of your group then keeping their attention focused on a common goal will not only shift their mind-set but also lead to greater success!

Wrap Up

The key message behind the Collaborative Intelligence book is that it is essential to understand one’s own ways of working and those of their teammates in order to work together effectively.

By exploring the diversity within a group, its ability to communicate and collaborate dramatically improves.

To conclude, the book’s main actionable advice is to create a “collaboration handbook” for a team.

Each person should write a succinct overview detailing their mind patterns, thinking talents, blind spots and cognitive styles — as well as any other information that can help them involve themselves better in collaborative projects.

Once all perspectives have been documented, they should then be shared with each other, explaining what each individual has submitted before gathering all of them together in a booklet so everything is in one central place.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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