Unconsciously Collaborative

When attending a recent non-work training course a trainer used a great description of a path of learning from unconsciously incompetent, to consciously incompetent, to consciously competent and finally achieving unconscious competence.  I loved the image this journey impressed on me and wondered about how this was true for collaboration.


This isn’t a simple journey for any of us as there are many inputs which influence our journey to unconscious collaboration.  I think the key ones are:

– personal behaviour and psychology

– encouraged behaviour and rules

– tools

– training

I’m interested in the journey to unconscious collaboration and how we can provide the correct tools, guidance and training to the correct people within our customer environments.  I’m going to shut up there as I’m interested in reaction to this idea…


  1. I love the concept, and I think you have identified four very important factors affecting us on this “journey”.

    However, as you hint, whilst it looks great to portray this as a simple healthy curve, the reality is more a complex matrix.

    I think the factors you mention are likely to have a different weight or effect, depending upon at which stage we find ourselves. It is also likely we will see these factors in different lights coming from differing points of view.

    Maybe a good way to start could be some sort of technique (questionnaire?) to help us determine where we are, and which of the factors present the biggest challenges to us? From there we could look to target the issues uncovered appropriately, whether it be via tools, training, encouragement, or other motivational factors.

    My turn to shut up and let someone else chip in!


  2. There is a set of skills that can help one become unconsciously collaborative. Also, I think that an organizational culture that supports collaboration would mean that everyone has been trained in that skill set, and that set of skills is used throughout the organization.

    Among the discrete skills are: agreement building, conflict resolution, listening as an ally, and group process management tools.


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