Good collaboration is Engaging for Participants.
Key Questions to be Answered
→What helps people to get engaged in a collaboration?
→Are you “engaged” in your collaboration? Are others “engaged”? Why is “engagement” important?
→What leads to dis-engagement in a collaboration?
The following Toolkit activities relate directly to different aspects of the ELEMENT Engaging for Participants. Click on the title to take you directly to the full activity.
Participants begin to explore how this collaboration fits into individual professional goals.
Participants often report that before a collaboration begins, they do not take the time to think and articulate intended outcomes for the collaboration—it “just happens.” In addition, when individuals and organizations are in alignment with collaborators, the inherent obstacles to collaborative work are not as challenging. Put another way, obstacles do not get in the way if collaborators are working together towards larger shared goals. This activity is an opportunity for collaborators to explore, individually and together, the intended outcomes for collaboration, and how these outcomes may impact the larger world.
Collaborations are more enjoyable and more likely to be successful if individuals feel engaged in the work – that is, if the work they are doing is sufficiently interesting and important so as to minimize nagging challenges usually inherent with collaboration (e.g. difficulty communicating with others at a distance or in a different working culture, more individuals make the work harder to coordinate, etc.). When the work is truly engaging to collaborators, the daily challenges of collaboration rescind. This activity helps individuals to identify what they find to be the most engaging aspects of the work and to discuss these facets with other collaborators.
The purpose of this activity is to revisit the notion of engagement. Is the original intent of the collaboration (the ideas, the people, the potential impact) still appealing? If not, it is a good time to think about what is getting in the way, and how collaborators can bring the original excitement back into the work. Research shows that engagement helps individuals overcome nagging obstacles. With this in mind, this activity gives participants an opportunity to reflect on how the collaboration is progressing in terms of original “hopes and dreams.”