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Collaboration Cheat Sheet

Knowing how to collaborate effectively is tougher than most people think. It takes a conscious effort to be sure that you are putting your best foot forward to get the most out of the people you are working with, whether it's just one individual or on a team. Below is a handy list of dos and don'ts that can help you improve collaboration and maximize success in any situation. We’ve put together a PDF of this Collaboration Cheat Sheet that you can download and print to keep on hand as a useful reminder.



1.   Try to understand each other!
      Paraphrase what the other person has
      said to check that you understood them.
1.   React right away to what you are hearing.
2.   Get to the point first; then elaborate. 2.   Ramble; don’t come to the point.
3.   Don’t hide behind questions. Say what
      you mean to say.
3.   Ask leading questions and keep others
      guessing what you are thinking.
4.   Listen for the essence of the other
      person’s thoughts.
4.   Nitpick.
5.   Problem solve! Present options and
      concerns in a "how-to" language, e.g.,
      "How to do that within budget" or "How
      to get management on board."
5.   Present opinions and concerns
      as obstacles and dead ends, e.g,
      "Management would never buy that" or
      "We don't have the budget for that!"
6.   Accept an idea in its raw form. You don’t
      have to agree with it yet.
6.   Reject ideas immediately, e.g., "That
      won't work because …"
7.   Build on others' ideas to make them
      more viable.
7.   Abandon others to defend their ideas
      without your help.
8.   Give credit where credit is due.
      Acknowledge others' contribution to your
      thinking and where you got the idea from.
8.   Steal bits of other people's ideas. Act as
       if the entire idea is yours and
      yours alone.
9.   Develop and adjust ideas before making
      go/no-go decisions.
9.   Quickly jump to will work/won’t work
      judgment on ideas.
10. Welcome all, diverse ideas, e.g., "I have
      a different idea; let's look at both."
10. Discourage or suppress ideas that you
       immediately can't see the value in, e.g.,
      "That's not how it is."
11. Look for what's good about an idea and
       the parts that will work.
11. Look only for flaws.
12. Respect who has the right to make
       the decision.
12. Act as if you know what is best for
       someone else's problem.
13. BE BOLD — these are only ideas at this
       stage, choose the new and exciting
       ones.
13. Choose only obvious and safe
       ideas (because they are obvious and
       safe to your competition as well).


For more information on this topic, as well as how Corporate Education Group can help optimize your organization's performance, contact us or call 1.800.288.7246 (US only) or +1.978.649.8200.


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