In this module, your managers learn how to collaborate effectively up, down and across the company.
They will build these essential collaboration skills:
- Engaged listening: Listening carefully to understand before evaluating or judging.
- Conflict management: Acting in ways that limit the negative aspects of conflict while increasing the positive.
- Dialogue: Using advocacy and enquiry to exchange ideas and opinions.
- Perspective taking: Analyzing a situation from another person’s point-of-view to see how different interests, goals and constraints affect behavior.
- Collaborative problem solving: Understanding what others need and using these insights to develop creative solutions that everyone can accept.
- Strategic networking: Building relationships up, down and across the company to exchange information, share best practices, mobilize resources, and build support for one’s work.
This module includes a variety of learning activities to provide a useful and engaging learning experience:
- Dialogue and group problem solving exercise. In this exercise, group members solve an ill-defined problem while blindfolded. Group members must establish a shared understanding of the task and how they will work together. Participants learn the value of dialogue: asking questions, listening to the answers, and drawing each member into the problem-solving process. After I debrief the exercise, we develop guidelines for improving dialogue in their own problem-solving teams.
- Engaged listening exercise. This exercise allows participants to experience engaged listening and to compare it to the ineffective listening often found in groups.
- Video case. This video shows how a successful design firm uses engaged listening to understand its customers.
- Win-win collaboration role-play. This is a two-party problem-solving exercise with a hidden win-win solution. Participants learn how to use perspective taking to identify interests for successful collaboration.
- Self-assessment of typical conflict behavior. I use an on-line self-assessment of conflict management behavior. Using this tool, managers can identify their typical responses to conflict and make plans to build strong conflict management skills.
- Personal network analysis. Participants complete a 7-step process to assess the breadth, diversity, connectedness and focus of their personal networks. Then they develop a plan to build the three networks they need to succeed.
- Short lectures with discussion and examples. I will deliver three short lectures on 1) how to improve dialogue in a problem solving team; 2) how to improve listening skills; and 3) how to identify interests to create win-win solutions for effective collaboration.
- Learning Diaries: Participants use learning diaries to capture key learning points.
- Reflection, action planning and peer consulting: We finish the module with a reflection and action planning session, including peer consulting on action plans.
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