The importance of Communication with Collaboration
Ultimately collaboration could not happen without the many forms of communication. Collaboration requires working with 2+ people— Sharing ideas and giving honest opinions in order to generate tools and make positive changes. These parts of collaboration could not happen successfully without effective communication strategies. Put simply, it takes two people to communicate. Both parties have to be willing, ready, and focused enough to speak clearly, descriptively, and sincerely. Also as equally important both parties have to be present and listening without distractions to fully understand, process, comprehend, and react to the other party’s ideas and questions.
Communication through words, actions, and body language help convey a person’s true feelings towards the project or plan. It is important to not only communicate what you want to do, but to come through and keep our word. If one party is struggling, it is important to communicate their difficulties to the team. For instance, I was asked to join a team that was creating a Behavior Specialist Plan for one of my children in my SDC. I had very little experience with BSPs, but since I was the SDC teacher, I was technically responsible for running the meeting that explained the new BSP to the parent, the SPED representative, and the Principal. I knew I wouldn’t feel the most confident in running the meeting considering I had never seen a BSP or really knew the lingo. After calling my SPED supervisor and being honest about my lack of experience and comfort level, we agreed that I should play more of secondary role in the meeting. Prior to the meeting I did some research and got up to speed on the BSP terminology and common practice. During the meeting I was able to comment on my student’s behaviors, rate of occurrence, and things that might trigger him. The parents were pleased with my knowledge of their son’s behaviors and agreed with my observations. As a BSP team we communicated our concerns and expectations for my student. Without clear communication this form of collaboration would not have occurred so smoothly.