Ask Alignor

What if I generally prefer to collaborate with other people but they will not collaborate with me?

It is important to recognize your own biases in dealing with other people. For example, if you strongly prefer to collaborate, others may mistake this preference as evidence of weakness. If you are aware of this possible misperception, then you can address it up front by explaining you are willing to impose consequences to deter the other person from trying to take advantage of you. In order to do this effectively and strategically, you must both: 1) be aware of your bias toward collaboration; and 2) think through carefully what consequences you are willing to impose on the other person for failing to collaborate with you. When you communicate the consequences you are prepared to impose for the other person’s refusal to collaborate, you should do so calmly but firmly so that the other person understands your commitment to protecting your own interests.