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A Team Collaboration Ladder for Leaders
Leaders should seek to assist their team in climbing the ladder of teamwork and achieving success with a true culture of collaboration.
Pierre Dillenbourg, in a 1995 research piece, sought to explain the difference between cooperation and collaboration. He defined cooperation as being "accomplished by the division of labor among participants, as an activity where each person is responsible for a portion of the problem solving..."
Dillenbourg, from the University of Geneva, in Switzerland, defined collaboration as a "mutual engagement of participants in a coordinated effort to solve the problem together."
Considering those statements, it seemed to me that leaders would benefit from having a simply graphic that explained the steps of ascension from confusion to collaboration… and so the Ladder to Team Collaboration Handout was born!
Confusion is when they lack of familiarity with situation, skills, and/or coworkers
Competence is when they become skilled at your job and doing things independently
Competition is when they become consumed with desire to perform well in relation to others
Cooperation is when they become willing to do your job as directed and contribute with others to accomplish to a larger goal for mutual benefit (asked to share talents)
Collaboration is when they become invested in the decision making process and share ideas and skills to find creative solutions (asked to share thoughts) But leaders show be aware that collaboration does NOT mean you agree with or take action on every idea offered… it simply means you ask for input and weigh other people’s suggestions to gain perspective and investment and make a more informed decision in the team’s best interests.
Teams climb the ladder as they increase their levels of communication and consideration...
Communication is what creates the rapport and relationships through learning of the background, talents, desires, and challenges of others.
Consideration is their concern for others and for organizational success, and willingness to reflect on roles to improve teamwork.
(But Coercion can stall ascension and create conflicts if people feel uninvolved and unheard!)