The Power of Collaborating with Your Administrative Peers

For decades, I have been teaching teamwork to administrative assistants. As you know, teamwork has been a popular topic for decades for all individuals. About five years ago I added collaboration to my teachings. I did this because as I was out in the field conducting administrative training, executives were telling me that their assistants needed to learn about collaboration. So I added an entire full-day workshop on collaboration to my Star Achievement Series®. Here is an excerpt from that workbook. I hope you will take the time to read it because collaboration is different. You need skills in both the teamwork arena and the collaboration arena.


Collaboration brings holistic energy. Instead of working in silos, which seems to be the case for many assistants, seek to work with your administrative peers. Consider working with them as being well-rounded, full, universal, complete, all-inclusive, and whole. Doesn’t that just make you feel better and stronger when you read what is possible? Instead of you trying to figure everything out on your own, wasting precious time and energy, you could be increasing your productivity and experiencing better outcomes. That should motivate you to increase your hope quotient by respecting the diversity of your teammates and leveraging the power of teaming together.


What Is Collaboration? How Is It Different From Teamwork?

Collaboration is about coming together and putting your best ideas into the service of something bigger than yourself.

Dena Plotkin, Psychotherapist and Collaborative Strategist ( says, “The most important thing in any collaboration is being able to know the perspective, needs, and desires of those you are working with. This is probably one of the main ways that collaboration differs from teamwork. In teamwork, there is the assumption that everyone is on the same page. Everyone is working together and is aware of it. Working together is the goal, and the goal is a result of how well the team works.

The focus of collaboration is the process. The act of collaboration creates and shapes the work that must be done to finish a project to completion. As the work progresses the goal is defined. It is more like a living document: it is dynamic and flexible.”


Here are four key differences between teamwork and collaboration from Lisa Earle McLeod, author of The Triangle of Truth and keynote speaker

Teamwork: Command and control

Collaboration: Creative and flexible

When you’re driving the ball down the line, players stick to their assigned roles. You have to make snap decisions. But, much like the Army, they’re within the context of the job you trained for and the skill drills you’ve been doing for months.

Collaboration requires more flexibility. The person who called the plays yesterday may need to fall back and take direction from the person who’s been sitting on the bench, observing the action and formulating a strategy. Collaboration is about bringing unique skills and talents together in a flexible way that supports the task at hand.

Teamwork: Regulation playbook

Collaboration: Evolves over time

Teamwork is successful when everyone knows the rules of the game and the competition adheres to the same regulations. But when the game is constantly changing, you need the ability to adapt your formation. Collaboration allows you to change your structure to support the situation, which is often in flux.

Teamwork: Do what the coach tells you to

Collaboration: Figure out what needs to be done

Teams operate in a hierarchical structure. The coach is in charge, and the reporting structure is from the top down. Collaboration is more fluid. The coach may not even be in the same location as the players, and they may or may not understand all the positions. True collaborators require support, but they’re self-directed in their problem solving and creativity.

Teamwork: Crush your opponent

Collaboration: Contribute to the big picture

Sports teams want the other guys to feel some pain. You either win or you lose. This mentality explains why so many companies struggle to get their employees to share ideas and resources. The win/lose mindset doesn’t easily turn itself off when you’re dealing with co-workers.


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Priscilla Pfeiffer

Priscilla Pfeiffer

Speaker | Entertainer | Trainer | TEDx Speaker

You Don’t Matter, Or Do You?

In today’s fast-paced business world, the role of administrative and executive assistants is more crucial than ever in driving innovation and positive change within organizations. However, a common pitfall is that many organizations dive headfirst into radical change without first understanding the heart of the people responsible for implementing it. This dynamic keynote, which includes mesmerizing entertainment elements, will shine a light on the transformative power of seemingly insignificant actions, inspiring you to take the first step towards positioning yourself as a key catalyst to SPARK success.

In this session, you will…

  • Discover how small, intentional actions can have a ripple effect. 
  • Gain strategies for positioning yourself for success within your teams and organizations.
  • Feel empowered to become a catalyst for positive change within your respective spheres, without the burnout.
  • Be inspired to initiate bold actions that can lead to significant personal and professional growth.

Priscilla Pfeiffer, a seasoned professional, boasts a two-decade career in entertainment and business. Her unique show business background allows her to craft mesmerizing performances, leaving enduring memories. Focused on delivering resonant and empowering messages that inspire audiences to make an impact in the world, she illuminates individuals to unlock their full potential in both personal and professional lives.

Renowned for creating “wow factor” moments, Priscilla has an esteemed clientele, including brands like BMW, LinkedIn, iHeart Radio, Michael Jordan’s Air Jordans, Pfizer, Bacardi, Cosmo Latina Magazine, and Zappos. Her impressive credits include sharing the stage with Joan Jett, Will-i-am, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, and Marc Anthony, as well as performances on America’s Got Talent, The Latin Grammy Awards, The NHL Awards, Comic Relief, and Celebrity Cruises. Priscilla has also graced the prestigious TEDx stage, where she delivered a compelling talk that resonated with audiences, showcasing her ability to captivate and inspire on a global platform.

In addition, Priscilla hosts the podcast “Spark Your Inner Fire” which delves into the creative mind, torching the inner critic, and reigniting purpose. Through interviews with world-renowned creatives, she shares stories and wisdom, illuminating listeners on their journeys.

In essence, Priscilla Pfeiffer is not only a veteran but a trailblazer whose performances consistently inspire, motivate, and create lasting impressions.