5 Areas You Need to Consider for Successful Collaborations – with Helpful Questions | by Jennifer Britton

Business Coaching

Collaboration is a key skill set for coaches. We not only partner with our clients, but we also collaborate with other businesses and practitioners. Whether it’s creating a joint venture for marketing or co-leading a group or team coaching session, it’s important to consider HOW you are collaborating.

Collaborating across distance and time in the virtual, remote and hybrid space can be challenging. We must be intentional and proactive in our approaches in this online and remote space.

As you design your partnerships, here are five practical questions to explore to frame your reflection and discussion.

1. Why are we collaborating?

It’s important not to collaborate “just to collaborate”. In fact, it’s key to be clear on WHY you are collaborating.

Perhaps it’s because your skills are better when you fuse them together. Or maybe you bring different insights into a core topic.

Questions to consider:

  • What’s important about doing this together?
  • What’s your WHY around collaboration—individually? Collectively?

2. What’s your core stance and common ground around the topic?

Perhaps you’re both passionate about educating around a topic. Perhaps you want to create a new approach to looking at an issue.

Being clear on where you align is important. This is going to help you articulate the purpose of your work, and also explain it to others.

Questions to consider:

  • What are you both committed to, no matter what?
  • What is the common ground you share?

3. How are your work approaches, values and styles different?

Partnerships can be weak if the partners are too similar. Think about where your work is not only the same, but complementary.

Explore how your differences can add strength to your collaboration.

Questions to consider:

  • What’s different about you and your work?
  • How do these different approaches complement your partner’s and vice versa?
  • What adjustments do you need to make in order to work together best?

4. What will your end result be?

Results, especially in the remote space, need to be specific. You must define what success will look like in clear and focused terms.

Questions to consider:

  • What outcomes and end results are you looking to achieve?
  • How will you measure success?

5. How will you provide feedback?

Feedback is critical to any partnership and collaborative experience. You must be clear on what’s working, what’s not and what needs to change. And you must have a framework in place for how to exchange this feedback.

Questions to consider:

  • What feedback opportunities are you creating at the start? Midpoint? End?
  • How often are you meeting?
  • What type of feedback are you both providing and receiving?
  • How do you each want to receive feedback?

Wrap-up

Collaboration is an essential ingredient for completing and expanding your work as a professional. What’s going to help your partnerships flourish in the remote space?

​For more on this topic, check out Chapter 12 of Effective Virtual Conversations.

Jennifer Britton 2020 HeadshotContributing author: Jennifer Britton’s book Effective Group Coaching was the first book in the world to be published on the topic of group coaching. Celebrating its 15th year, Jennifer’s Group Coaching Essentials and Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum programs have become known as the must-do training in the area of group coaching. Focused on providing coaches with best practices in designing, marketing and implementing group coaching, the program has helped hundreds of coaches launch their own group and team coaching programs in a wide variety of settings. Together both courses are approved for 18.75 CCEs with the ICF. Learn more here >>

A coach, author and thought leader in the area of group and team coaching, Jennifer was an early pioneer in the virtual and remote space. Since the early 1990s she’s led teams and programming online, first in the international humanitarian sector and later through her company, Potentials Realized. Since 2004 her focus has been on virtual programming with a coaching approach. Most days you’ll find Jenn leading a myriad of virtual programs—from remote team development, to virtual retreats for business owners, to group coaching programs leveraging journaling.

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Image of Two Coaches Collaborating by Lookstudio via freepik

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