top of page



1.  Excerpt from:  Ken Blanchard, Jane Ripley & Eunice Parisi-Carew.  “Collaboration Begins with You.”  iBooks, with-you/id997088174



Regardless of your role, you can make a difference in helping create a culture of collaboration within your team, family or community. The following are attitudes and actions that build a collaborative environment.


The HEART Domain of Collaboration

Utilize Differences


  1. Be a role model.

    • Acknowledge to yourself and others that you don’t have all the answers.

    • Embrace new approaches; seek and value unique perspectives.

  2. Actively seek opinions from a variety of sources.

    • Reach out for input from other successful teams, families, communities

    • Engage a variety of people in discussions.

    • Encourage introverts who may be uncomfortable speaking out.

    • Make sure every voice is heard, regardless of title or role.

    • Ask questions and praise candid answers.

    • Remember: diverse perspectives lead to innovation and decisions for the greater good.

  3. Promote the idea that disagreement is constructive.

    • Encourage debate around issues; support differing viewpoints.

    • Take a facilitator role if difficulties arise; seek to understand concerns behind each stated position.

    • Get training and train others in giving/receiving feedback and in conflict resolution.

    • Airing of different perspectives with the whole team can ultimately build trusting relationships.


Nurture Safety and Trust


  1. Be a role model.

    • Share knowledge freely to model what you expect of others.

    • Encourage others to speak freely without fear of judgment.

    • Welcome all ideas and consider them before decisions are made.

    • Give and receive feedback as a gift, without judgment or defensiveness.

    • Be accessible, authentic, and dependable.

  2. Build trust.

    • View mistakes and failures as learning opportunities; discuss openly.

    • Encourage at all levels.

    • Provide learning events that focus on trust building and team development.

    • Cultivate a safe, collaborative environment.

    • Be transparent when making decisions.

    • Be sure people know their role and what a good job looks like.

    • Share responsibility and power among all levels.

    • Develop common goals and strategies and clear areas of responsibility.

    • Give people freedom and space to experiment and innovate.


The HEAD Domain of Collaboration

Involve Others in Crafting a Clear Purpose, Values, and Goals


  1. Be a role model.

    • A clear, shared purpose galvanizes action; values guide behavior; and goals focus energy.The project leader must ensure vision and direction are clear.

    • Get feedback from everyone when crafting the purpose statement, operating values, and strategic goals for the project.

    • Demonstrate a commitment to the greater good.

    • Focus on continual improvement and, ultimately, team success.

    • Have accountability standards for yourself and others.

    • Show your colleagues what values look like as behaviors.

  2. Align your project’s purpose and values to those of the team/community.

    • Assure that the goals and strategies put into practice drive your purpose.

    • Rank values in order of importance.

    • Check every decision you and the project team make against stated values  

    • Project team should define what collaboration means for this project: use collaborative language and commit to collaborative practices.

  3. Create a charter for every project.

    • Make sure everyone is clear on purpose, goals, roles, and the metrics for which they will be held accountable.

    • In times of difficulty, refer to the charter agreements for guidance.

    • Together with the project group, periodically review the charter to keep it top of mind and ensure it is relevant to the needs of the project.

    • Use the charter as a vehicle for onboarding new people.


The HANDS Domain of Collaboration

Talk Openly


  1. Be a role model.

    • Listen to understand.

    • Share all relevant information.

    • Give constructive feedback and be open to feedback from others.

    • Encourage spontaneous interaction.

    • Seek information and ask questions.

    • Have an open door policy.

    • Encourage candor with respect.

  2. Promote sharing and learning.

    • Encourage networking among all teams and at all levels.

    • Create opportunities for cross functional teaming on projects.

    • Take time to evaluate meetings to maximize effective communication.

    • Train your people in communication skills and team development.


Empower Yourself and Others

  1. Be a role model.

    • Share your knowledge and experience.

    • Network with others across the initiative.

    • Speak up in meetings.

    • Be a continual learner.

  2. Empower each other.

    • Encourage mutual learning.

    • Build trust and reciprocity through sharing and networking.

    • Make sure you and your colleagues have competence and clarity on tasks and goals.

    • Involve other teams in idea generation sessions and decision making.

    • Create formal and informal sharing opportunities

bottom of page