ABA Insights: Collaboration 101

ABA Insights: Collaboration 101

Working with people with whom you do not align can be a real struggle. Considering the social world we belong to, we humans need to involve ourselves with other social beings to get many needs met and a chunk of our work done. As a result, this makes “collaboration” a vital skill to survive and succeed in various life endeavors. Collaboration creates opportunities to grow ideas by bringing different perspectives and creating an inclusive culture that supports listening and sharing. Here are some simple suggestions to improve your interaction with others and, as a result, your work outcomes. 

First, to get ahead and plan for potential barriers you might experience, it is recommended to Assess the situation and the various components that can influence the outcomes of your collaboration. An excellent place to begin is by being an empathetic and unbiased listener and capturing critical information. Doing so helps one identify clarity and structure before entering a conversation. Knowing the purpose/aim of your interaction, the role you and other members play, including identifying antecedent events that trigger sensitive conversations and strong emotions ahead of time, can help you navigate positive and complex collaborations.  

Effective communication is another essential component that influences a positive collaborative environment. Selecting words and phrases thoughtfully to encourage compassionate communication can help you support the purpose of your collaboration in meaningful ways.  

Finally, Reward positive interactions with positive interactions: Do not forget to reward ideas your team shares along with their courage to dissent by highlighting them. Fold into your conversations genuinely supportive words to encourage and maintain trust and, if possible, some humor to build comfort in your relationship.  

Written By: Aakriti Tripathi, M.A., BCBA