Dancing with a partner involves a series of coordinated movements. There is a flow and grace when two people demonstrate this while dancing. When clearly understood, one can easily change their approach depending on the music. From salsa to their favorite line dance, there clearly is a rhythm present giving each the freedom to improvise within it.
Clearly, this is evidence that when you understand the dance steps you are more likely to dance freely with another person who understands the same. Your individuality shines through your many improvisations during a dance. Yet there always seems to be a coherent whole.
Keep this in mind while thinking about working with others. Are there dance steps here too? Should there be? Does the music change depending on the group or setting? Is solving a problem different than working towards realizing an opportunity? With different levels of experience, do different people default into dancing in a different style based on their experiences or level of skill?
Too many times I have seen people working together resemble crashes in intersections rather than the effortless grace of two dancers. For there is little thought to deciding what are the dance steps before starting the dance. Too busy worrying about the solution and the outcome. Creating a lot friction and wasted energy because everyone has a different idea of how the process should work. Leaving some people lost while others become frustrated along the way.
How we will go about doing our work or working together is rarely discussed up front. Because these dance steps could be different depending on the situation and the people you are working with. There is no one way to do things. Nor one right way. But there can be one understood way where everyone has thoughtfully worked through outlining the dance steps everyone involved will follow.
Preparation takes many forms. Figuring out the dance steps before dancing is one of the most important things you should do first to prepare. Every time. Always.
PS. Figuring out the dance steps when only you are involved can be equally as valuable. For example, how do you go about a decision of buying a new car? What will be your process to do this? Are there things that will influence the choice you make? How much money are you willing to spend? And so on. If you generically outline all of this before searching, you increase the chance of making a good choice in the end that you will be happy with.