7 Norms Of Collaboration
Written by: Hrishikesh Pardeshi, Founder at Flexiple, buildd & Remote Tools.
Last updated: Jul 11, 2023
The initial ‘7 norms of collaboration’ were first given by Garmston and Wellman. These norms of collaboration have been widely used in different domains. A group as a whole comes up with a productive outcome/ decision only when the individuals align with each other. Only productive social structures can eventually build up a workable team. So, collaborative skills are very essential when you work as a team of individuals.
Here we focus on the 7 norms of collaboration specific to the work environment which would help grow constructively in the profession. When working remotely problems are bound to arise. These can be solved using some well planned methods when collaborating with your colleagues.
1st norm - Promoting a spirit of inquiry
One of the key aspects to remember across domains about collaborating is being open to listening and accepting new ideas. Always try to understand the other person’s view before inquiring/ putting across your thoughts/ ideas.
Example: ‘I would really like to know more about this…’, ‘Could you elaborate on this idea of yours?’
2nd norm - Pausing
Always pause, think, evaluate your answer and then respond. Pausing before we respond gives us and others time to think which in essence will result in a structured response.
3rd norm - Paraphrasing
Good paraphrasing is a must as it lets others listen to what you’re up to say and lets each other understand. It would also confirm what the other person said earlier.
Example: ‘As per what you said about this…’, ‘I guess this is what I heard from what you said…’
4th norm - Probing for specificity
Always ask questions for good understanding and clarity. These can be gentle and this increases the accuracy of the person’s thinking too.
Example: ‘I’m very curious to understand about …’, ‘I would like to hear more about …’
5th norm - Putting ideas on the table
Always be open to put your thoughts across and to receive ideas from the other end. It’s because there are many solutions to a given problem and you might arrive at the best if you’re open-minded to collaborate.
Example: ‘You can also consider this…’, ‘I’ve got another thought around this…’, ‘What do you think about…’
6th norm - Paying attention to self & others
Always watch out for the way you react to whatever is being said to you and also for whatever you’ve said.
7th norm - Presuming positive intentions
There’s a productive conversation that happens when the colleague’s comments and questions are positive and affirmative. This will avoid indignation and misunderstanding too.
Example: ‘This definitely makes sense as …’, ‘Given we’re all trying to get to a decision that works for all of us, why don’t we…’
How to implement these 7 norms of collaboration?
- Try implementing one at a time
- Practice these norms in multiple meetings until you’re seasoned to it
- Make these 7 norms of collaboration a part in your daily interactions
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