Collaboration & Communication

Simple Tips for Leaders…

Collaborate (verb col·lab·o·rate \kə-ˈla-bə-ˌrāt\): to work with another person or group in order to achieve or do something.

Fostering collaboration in an organization begins with a leader creating an environment that empowers associates to speak his / her mind freely — sharing ideas on improving organizational effectiveness and feeling comfortable providing feedback.  This leads to high engagement and enables associates to remain focused on making a meaningful contribution, in spite of uncertainty.

Leaders foster collaboration by creating effective two-way communication — where both parties share information, perspectives and ideas.  Engaging in collaboration allows differences of opinions to be voiced—this helps leaders consider other perspectives when making decisions, and it allows associates to feel engaged in the work. In order to collaborate, people must feel safe to voice their ideas and feelings.

*Collaboration together with effective Two-Way Communication helps people move towards perceived rewards with…

STATUS: Two-way communication allows people to feel that their contributions to the organization mean something

CERTAINTY: Two-way communication allows people to have a clearer perspective of the situation to reduce the threat of uncertainty

AUTONOMY: Two-way communication allows people to have some measure of control of the situation

RELATEDNESS: Two-way communication allows people to connect with more empathy

FAIRNESS: Two-way communication allows people to have a voice

Leaders can create an environment for effective Collaboration and Communication by…

  • Listening with intention
  • Encouraging open and two-way communication to solicit information, create engagement & support retention
  • Bringing people together (cultivating uniqueness) with different backgrounds or perspectives
  • Encouraging others to talk about how they are feeling about the topic. Talking about feelings helps to normalize people’s emotions and provides a more complete  perspective of the topic
  • Incorporating a feedback mechanism to allow individuals an opportunity to dialogue openly and freely with you and others about any information shared

For More Information about the Authors: Rhonda L. Frith-Lyons & Tracy Richardson

*Source: “SCARF: a brain-based model for collaborating with and influencing others”. NeuroLeadership Journal: Issue 1, 2008

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