Working effectively and cooperatively with others toward shared objectives; establishing and maintaining principle-centered working relationships. Click here for associated skills and behaviors.

Ways to Demonstrate this Skill

Development Activities

§      Work to establish and maintain good   interpersonal relations with others.

    • Show respect for others (See Respect)

    • Demonstrate that you value diversity (see Diversity).

    • Whenever possible, offer ideas and suggestions for how to achieve others’objectives,particularly those shared by the group.


§         When people express points of view that are unusual or even in opposition to your own, ask them to explain their views further and listen to fully understand.

§         Ask others about their objectives and interests, and work to remember them.

§         Look for opportunities, both day-to-day and in meetings, to suggest actions that will help others accomplish their objectives.

§         When meeting or working with others, spend more time focusing on team or organizational objectives than you do on your own particular interests.

§         When a group you are part of makes a decision that you do not completely agree with, support that decision anyway and help to get it implemented.

§         Be willing to give or share credit for accomplishments with other people, whoever they are.

§         In meetings with people outside your immediate work group:

·         Initiate or encourage discussion of how the meeting relates to the organization’s objectives.

·         Work to ensure that the needs of both the organization and the meeting participants are satisfied.


§         If you are in a meeting where a group is making a decision you do not agree with:

·         State your concerns clearly and early enough in the discussion that your views can be taken into account.

·   If the group still makes a decision you do not agree with, ask what the group needs from you to support the decision.

·         Ask someone to clearly state the group’s reasons for the decision so you can pass the reasoning along when you are questioned about it.

·         Use the reasons the group provided to respond when you need to discuss the decision with others. Deliver the explanation in a clear and neutral way.


§         Offer to help others accomplish tasks, even if you are not formally responsible for the work.

·         Use daily conversations to show an interest in other people’s work assignments and challenges.

·         Think about whether you have resources or contacts that would be useful to them.

·         If you have resources to share (e.g. an expert staff member’s time and ability), decide how much you can spare and be clear about that when you make the offer.

·         Think about whether your particular expertise and experience could be helpful.



Developmental Resources


If you find workshops and/or web-based training a good way for you to learn and develop,and there are funds available, look for classes or workshops that address the following:


§         Working in collaboration with others.

§         Using positive politics at work.

§         Task force or team skills.

§         Networking skills.

§         How to influence others.




     The following books are resources on collaboration:

     Bennis, W.G. and Biederman, P.W. (1998) Organizing Genius: Secrets of Creative Collaboration. Reading, MA:Perseus Press.

     Hargrove, Robert A. (1997) Mastering the Art of Creative Collaboration. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional.

     Straus, David. (2002) Making Collaboration Work. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler.

     Linden, Russel M. (2002).  Working Across Boundaries:  Making Collaboration Work in Government and Nonprofit Organizations.  San Francisco, CA:Jossey-Bass: ISBN: 0787964301.

     Lyles, Dick. (2000). Winning Ways: 4 Secrets for Getting Great Results by Working Well with People. Publisher: Penguin Putnam, Inc.




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