Handbook for Effective Collaboration – Creating Shared Expectations – IDENTIFICATION OF EXTERNAL CONNECTIONS
Identification of External Connections.
Does your team invite and adapt to feedback or does it become defensive and rigid. When we speak of teams with effective External Connections we are looking for:
- Appropriate communication and exchange of information between the team and the external system or context in which the team operates.
- Boundaries and expectations between the external systems that are clearly defined.
- The ability of the team to adapt to external pressures, feedback, and new or changing information.
- Effectively communication by the team with stakeholders, funders, service recipients, and other teams engaged in similar or tangential work.
Questions to address as a team include:
- How does our team seek and receive external feedback?
- How is that feedback incorporated into the team’s continuous improvement?
- What interferes with the team’s ability to receive and incorporate feedback?
- How can these challenges be overcome?
These five conversations represent the essential conversation of any team. They should be engaged early on as a group is forming so as to clarify expectations and build trust for engaging the potential challenging work ahead.
Depending on the nature of the collaboration there are two additional conversations that when time is taken will add value to the work of the group. These are particularly important when diverse groups, organizations, or agencies are collaborating on a shared initiative. These are described below.