Top 3 strategies for successful collaboration

relationshipsGreetings from Reno, Nevada! I am currently at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) Pacific Leadership Conference. Today, I helped organize and facilitate a day long training track for executive directors and their local school superintendents focused on the idea of collaboration.

It is truly awe-inspiring when a group of dedicated non-profit professionals and their collaborative partners take a day out of their busy schedules to talk about how to collaborate at a higher level.

I’ll keep today’s blog post very short.

One of the facilitated exercises engaged participants in the following simple question: “What are the most important strategies for developing collaborative relationships?”

Here are just a few of the answers provided by participants:

  1. Focus on a common goal
  2. Create continuous open dialog
  3. Clearly establish and understand roles & responsibilities
  4. Persistence
  5. You must seek to understand your prospective partner’s needs before you expect them to understand yours
  6. Always keep in mind that you must earn trust and respect (all the time)
  7. Build a shared vision
  8. Actively create opportunities to engage and remember that food at those meetings is very important

I’m sure that none of this is new to many of you; however, when is the last time you actually practiced these principles?

I don’t know about you, but I can recite lots of best practices just like a third grader can recite their newly memorized multiplication tables. Sometimes when I put myself on autopilot, there is a disconnect between KNOWING and DOING.

As you review this list of strategies, do you think anything is missing from the list? If so, then what would you add? Do you have any special tricks to keep yourself from sometimes cutting corners and forgetting about best practices like these?

Please scroll down and use the comment box below to share your thoughts and experiences. We can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC

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