Today, I want to showcase some tools for teams that build collaboration and inclusivity.

This can have a powerful impact. For example, a recent HBR survey found that collaboration is vital for success. In collaborative workplaces, there is greater productivity and a more engaged workforce.

Further, collaboration may also be the key to survival as the economy evolves.

Recently, I worked with an organisation to develop their ‘ways of working’. This organisation has grown significantly over the last 12 months, and many staff members travel regularly. So some of their old ways of working weren’t working for them anymore.

To prepare for the workshop, I surveyed staff. From this I found there was high levels of satisfaction with the organisation and with their jobs. However, there were tweaks required in how they worked.

Staff felt they worked in silos and they wanted to celebrate their achievements. They also wanted to improve inclusivity, through active listening and collaboration.

On the day, I presented three tools for them to practice and incorporate into their work.

  1. StrengthsFinder* – each team member did the Clifton’s StrengthsFinder online assessment prior to the workshop. We then we explored our own, and each others, strengths. Understanding strengths helps us to work effectively and collaboratively and to appreciate diversity.
  2. Feed Forward – I have written about this previously . This tool helps to build self-awareness and listening skills
  3. Peer consulting – this supports input into a challenge or project in an open and inclusive way. One team member presents their challenge to the group, and then the team asks questions. The case presenter then steps away from the discussion – listening from afar to the wisdom offered by the group. This tool helps to build collaboration and break down silos. There’s a summary of it here and a fuller description here.

I use these tools in my coaching and facilitation practice. Clients find they are of great value both in team building and in individual awareness. And this helps everyone in the team or organisation to row in the same direction.

How could these tools be of value in your team or workplace? Do you use other tools to encourage collaboration and inclusiveness? I’d love to hear about what you do to build effective ways of working in your workplace – feel free to email me.

For those familiar with Cliftons StrengthsFinder, my top five are relator, maximiser, arranger, connectedness, activator. Feel free to have a read of my report if you want to familiarise yourself with how the tool works (and you can let me know if it sounds like me!)