Competent Collaboration – Part 1

In the prior post (The World Is Flat) it was mentioned that “Your success depends upon how well you learn to collaborate.”

Since I didn’t cover this previously I thought it would be important to expand upon this topic.

At a high-level, to competently collaborate we must be extremely effective at:

  • Managing Interpersonal Relationships and Interactions
  • Using the Tools of Collaboration
  • Acting Globally

In this post, we’ll expand on the first item above…

Managing Interpersonal Relationships and Interactions

Let’s start with a few quotes that serve as guideposts:

It is not what you say but how you say it. Author Unknown

Tart words make no friends; a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar. Benjamin Franklin

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Theodore Roosevelt

Many years ago I was asked to lead a training course called “Interpersonal Managing Skills” for employees of our firm.

The purpose of the course was to help individuals at all levels of the organization minimize or eliminate miscommunications and misunderstandings. Because, the effect we have on others may not be what we intend in our daily communications which can dramatically impact results and relationships.

The seminar shared key skills, which were categorized as follows (which really made sense to me):

  • Clarifying and Confirming – To uncover essential information; to let others know that you listen to and value their ideas; to make better judgments and decisions.
  • Constructive Criticism – To give critical feedback in a way that promotes acceptance and action; to promote high levels of motivation, morale, and mutual respect.
  • Discussion Skills – To link all of our interpersonal skills as we interact with others; to facilitate dialogue that is both participative and productive.
  • Managing Differences – To deal with differences or potential conflicts in a way that allows you to preserve your priorities without either capitulating or adopting an adversarial stance – or resorting to the arbitrary use of power.
  • Crediting – To recognize performance that is worthy of credit; to encourage and maintain a commitment to excellence within your organization.

While I delivered this seminar back in the 1994 timeframe the skills are just as applicable today as ever, for working more productively and harmoniously with subordinates, colleagues, and superiors. That is, we all need to be very effective at ALL of the above in order to competently collaborate with others. And, these skills can greatly enhance our dealings with ALL people including personal friends, family members and acquaintances.

Instead of further expanding on the skills here, there are 2 highly recommended readings that do a fantastic job of covering these topics. They are as follows (and by clicking on the image you will be transported to if you’d like to acquire either of these).

The first is a classic and could be considered the bible on Interpersonal Management Skills.

HTWFAIFThe second, is a GREAT book overall. And, Part 3: Public Victory covers key points on Interpersonal Management Skills in a very concise and impactful manner.


They are both worthy of an annual read to keep our skills honed in support of Competent Collaboration.

In a subsequent post we’ll cover “Using the Tools of Collaboration.”

In closing, if you’ve been following this blog you should notice that I’m not necessarily throwing new stuff at you. Instead, I’m reinforcing, in many different ways, the foundational skills which are critical for success and providing a reminder on how you can develop them for yourself.

All the best 🙂

3 thoughts on “Competent Collaboration – Part 1

  1. […] a prior post we covered the topic of Managing Interpersonal Relationships and Interactions as a key factor in being a […]

  2. […] The skills for doing so are covered in the post: Competent Collaboration – Part 1. […]

  3. […] response to an earlier post (Competent Collaboration – Part 1) a long-time friend and business associate asked if I had read (or listened to) the […]

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