Collaboration Toolkit

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Pursue Common Ground with Partners

As your collaborative progresses, you’ll experience new challenges. Taking time to focus on commonalities can improve your internal and external communications.

As your collaborative was forming, identifying areas of common ground helped people understand how they might work together based on mutual goals, areas of agreement, or similar or complementary areas of expertise or interests. As time goes on, working from a place of common ground continues to be an important component in a collaborative to address these situations:

  • On-the-ground activities or project implementation steps may raise new expectations or unforeseen issues.
  • As the collaborative expands its focus to address new issues (perhaps emerging contaminants, or particular local challenges), you may find disagreement among members who previously held similar views.
  • A prospective new member or a new member representative brings different ideas to the group.
  • Developing written materials (such as brochures, or information that conveys technical information) may highlight different approaches.
  • The collaborative encounters different perspectives while addressing and engaging new audiences.

Tips for Continuing to Identify Common Ground

Look at the Identifying Common Ground section in the Forming stage on why identifying common ground is important and tips to help you find it.

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