Working with organizational teams, family teams and partnerships, there is one desire we hear more than any other – we would like to be more collaborative. When we help them design their shared vision, collaboration is always an element.

Teams and families that collaborate to create and support a common purpose are wonderful to be part of. When everything is done, said and thought under the umbrella of a shared vision, there is a palpable energy that permeates the team.

And, it requires a daily commitment from each and every person on the team to embody the thoughts and actions required. We have also seen the negative impact when one or more members of the team seemingly give only lip service to collaborating with other members. This usually happens when the person loses track of the team’s common purpose and returns to seeing everything through the veil of “it’s all about me” or “what about me”.

Collaboration uses the energy of contribution to move a system to wholeness. It signifies a team approach where everyone is participating fully for the sake of a common purpose. Competition among team members uses the less effective energy of self-importance and manipulation that puts an individual’s needs above the team’s needs.


The desire and commitment to collaborate with others requires more than an intellectual understanding of the value of doing so. It requires a willingness to participate fully with compassion and kindness towards others on the team. It depends on everyone having a dedication to the purpose of the team.

True collaboration, effective collaboration requires that everyone leave ego, old ineffective patterns, prima donna tendencies and personal drama behind. The person who has always been the center of attention needs to temper the pull of diva-ness and be an observer of the needs and opinions of others.

The team member who occupies the quiet corner and has always tended to hold back fully expressing their thoughts has to be more direct in giving all their wisdom and energy to the collaborative effort.

Dedication to accomplishing the team’s common purpose requires a sense of ruthlessness – ruthless protection of the aliveness of the team. (This does not mean acting ruthlessly towards others.) You must ruthlessly support the team by observing and monitoring the impact of your own contribution. Will you be more effective and collaborative if you leave out personal drama? Will you be more effective if you speak up about anything you see that’s inhibiting the team’s full collaborative efforts?

Be a conscious collaborator for the sake of the team, the family and your own aliveness.

Always collaborating with Cathy,