Course Outcomes

This collaboration skills course for teams will:

  • Address the value of collaboration to organizations.
  • Outline the conditions that must exist for teams to work collaboratively.
  • Provide teams with tools that encourage collaboration during meetings, decision-making sessions, and other gatherings where the group is tasked with solving problems.
  • Offer tactics for identifying and addressing conflict.
  • Suggest a multitude of methods to spawn ideas, improve reasoning, and evaluate the viability of different initiatives.

Course Overview

Teams that don’t just talk about collaboration but actually do it usually realize strong results. These groups share a common purpose, see value in the contributions and abilities of each member of the team, speak frankly, seek out and address conflict, and look for ways to improve the status quo. Sounds great, but getting out of a silo structure or changing a culture that doesn’t reward collaboration isn’t easy. This team collaboration workshop aims to simplify the process. The program looks at organizational conditions that must exist for collaboration to regularly occur. The course also addresses such topics as trust, change, self-awareness, authority, decision making, communication, role definition, rewards, and reflection. 

This course is available as a one-day offering or a multi-day workshop. The primary difference between the two options is the depth to which we explore topics and the time devoted to activities and exercises.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the benefits and drawbacks of collaborating.
  • Calculate the rate of return for working collaboratively.
  • Describe the life cycle of collaborative teams.
  • Identify a common purpose.
  • Encourage high-trust relationships with colleagues and clients.
  • Build consensus.
  • Manage accountability.
  • Overcome barriers that typically arise during the collaboration process.
  • Run meetings effectively and communicate the team’s progress.
  • Find opportunities to innovate and problem solve.
  • Use a range of tools to guide decision making.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline 

The Well-Oiled Machine: Easing Friction Through Cooperation

This program begins with a discussion about collaboration and a frank assessment of the group’s current level of cooperation. Following that activity, we will look at eight conditions that usually exist in organizations that value collaborative teams. Participants will then consider each and identify any changes that should occur to encourage collaboration.

Checking the Engine: The Look and Sound of Collaboration

The workshop continues with several collaboration exercises. In small teams, participants will tackle a range of challenges where they will work together to solve problems. After that exercise, we will discuss observable behaviors associated with collaboration. 

Speed Bumps, Pot Holes, and Detours: Impediments on the Road to Collaboration

Wanting to work better together is not the same thing as doing it. This part of the program looks at behaviors and conditions that lead to dysfunction on a team. We’ll explore common problems and solutions to each. Specifically, we will focus on trust, change, self-awareness, authority, decision making, communication, role definition, rewards, and reflection. The time devoted to each topic and exercises used to illustrate the concepts will depend on the course length selected.

Make the Connection: Jump Start Your Meetings

Meetings are usually a central tool for any team that regularly collaborates. This section of the program explores techniques for improving the process of conducting meetings and how groups work together. From establishing ground rules and norms to enforcing agreed-upon behaviors, this part of the seminar introduces participants to actions they can take to transform their meetings into effective collaboration sessions. 

From Flat Tires to Total Wrecks: Resolving Conflicts

From time to time, a conflict will arise during the collaboration process. Resolving a conflict requires an understanding of its components and sources. During this segment of the course, participants will learn a new way of looking at conflict and options available for working past both personality-driven and issue-driven disagreements.

Avoid Running on Empty: Fill Up Your Think Tank

To improve a group’s performance, you have to grow its ability to think and see issues from a variety of viewpoints. This portion of the workshop focuses on techniques for improving idea generation, reasoning, and decision making. At a minimum, in this part of the program, participants will practice using multiple tools: ideation techniques, affinity diagrams, scoreboards, and decision matrices. 

Still Under Warranty: Practice Routine Maintenance

When not used methodically, best practices for team collaboration can quickly devolve into the status quo. This final seminar segment focuses on action planning. During this part of the session, teams will have time to identify the changes they will put into practice in their workplace, how they will implement those changes, and actions they will take to monitor progress.

By the conclusion of this course, participants should have a solid understanding of the collaboration process. They should also be able to implement a range of tools for encouraging collaborative thinking.