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Essentials for Effective Teamwork


Collaboration is the only team sport in the world which is played without agreed-upon rules. My mission is to change this.The Collaboration ABC is both, an evolving set of "rules" and a curated collection of resources for personal study and discovery.It is the distilled wisdom from a large number of research papers, books, TED talks, articles and interviews, as well as my own experience.Start exploring it now, and invite the rest of your team to do the same.Once you agree on this alphabet, collaboration in your team will improve, day by day.Check out our resource section for free downloads, like a cheat sheet that can be attached to your monitor. Planning to share the Collaboration ABC with your team or community, e.g. in your blog or website? Just copy&paste the relevant links from this page to even include the interactive version!Enjoy your journey towards better collaboration!TobiasPS: I'd love to hear from you! Please share your feedback, qestions and ideas to tobias(at)windbrake.com


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IMPRINTTobias Windbrake ConsultingNeumühlen 5122763 Hamburg, GermanyPhone: +49 (o)152o 491283 sevenEmail: info ( at ) windbrake . deWebsite: www.collaboration-abc.comAuthorized representative:Tobias WindbrakePersons responsible for content:Tobias WindbrakeEditor:Tobias WindbrakeWeb Design & Text:Tobias Windbrake

Legal information:Tobias Windbrake Consulting (TWC) constantly checks and updates the information on its web pages. Despite the utmost care taken, we cannot rule out that some of the data may since have become outdated. Therefore, we cannot accept liability for the currency, accuracy and completeness of the information displayed. The same applies to all other web pages that can be reached via hyperlink. TWC is not responsible for the content of websites which can be reached via such links.Furthermore, TWC reserves the right to make changes or additions to the information displayed. Content and structure of the TWC website is protected by copyright. The reproduction of information or data, in particular the use of texts, text excerpts or illustrative material, requires our prior approval.All product or other names or marks referenced herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners, and are the properties of their respective owners, with all rights reserved.

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Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers. --Tony Robbins

Inc. article: How Smart People Ask Great Questions, Jeff Haden

Forbes.com article: How And Why Leaders Should Ask Instead Of Tell, Kyle Goguen

HBR article: The Surprising Power of Questions, Alison Wood Brooks, Leslie K. John

Article: How might we…?, Kimberly Crawford

The Power Of Effective Questioning (5:35)

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No one is as smart as all of us.-- Kenneth H. Blanchard

The Power Of Teamwork (5:32)

Template: Team Canvas

Homepage: Group Pattern Language Project

TED talk: How to turn a group of strangers into a team, Amy Edmondson

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The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.--George Bernard Shaw

TED talk: How to speak so that people want to listen, Julian Treasure

TED ideas: Before your next presentation or speech here’s the first thing you must think about, Briar Goldberg

TED masterclass: Communication vs pontification: How to tell the difference, Ashley Kolaya

The 110 techniques of communication and public speaking | David JP Phillips | TEDxZagreb(16:51)

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Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.-- Mahatma Gandhi

TED: How to disagree productively and find common ground, Julia Dhar

HBR: How to debate ideas productively at work, Shane Snow

Article: Groupthink, Inc.com encyclopedia

Dare to disagree | Margaret Heffernan (7:56)

Wikipedia: Devil's advocate

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When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion. --Dale Carnegie

HBR article: Emotional Intelligence Has 12 Elements. Which Do You Need to Work On?, Daniel Goleman & Richard E. Boyatzis

Simon Sinek - Understanding Empathy (22:08)

HBR article: Boost your emotional intelligence with these 3 questions, Daniel Goleman and Michele Nevarez

HBR article: To Improve Your Team, First Work on Yourself, Jennifer Porter

Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners.-- William Shakespeare

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TED talk playlist: Talks to inspire you to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep

Choice 5: Fuel Your Fire (3:29)

TED talk (3:14): Got a meeting? Take a walk!, Nilfer Merchant

TED talk (16:52): Own your body's data, Talithia Williams

Feedback is a gift.-- Warren Buffet

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Inc.com: Why Warren Buffet believes Feedback is a Gift, Jim Schleckser

The secret to giving great feedback | The Way We Work, a TED series (5:01)

HBR: The Delicate Art of Giving Feedback, Robert C. Pozen

Article: I Like, I Wish, What If, Kimberly Crawford

The good life is built with good relationships.-- Robert J. Waldinger

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Video: The Strength of Weak Ties, Arun Sundararajan

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie | Animated Book Review (9:00)

TED talk (13:55): The secret to great opportunities? The person you haven't met yet, Tanya Menon

You get what you measure. Measure the wrong thing and you get the wrong behaviors. -- John H. Lingle

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Article: How stack ranking corrupts culture, at Uber and Beyond, Rob Davies

Teamwork Reimagined | Kevin Cahill | TEDxSunValley (13:53)

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.-- Benjamin Franklin

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Inc. article: Jeff Bezos Knows How to Run a Meeting. Here’s How He Does It, Justin Bariso

8 Tips for Running More Effective Meetings | The Distilled Man (8:51)

How to Rehearse for an Important Presentation, Carmine Gallo

TED ideas: How thinking like a magician can help you get ahead at work, David Kwong

Accountability is the glue that ties commitment to the result.-- Bob Proctor

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TEDx talk: The Power of Commitment | Jonathan Jones | TEDxKids@SMU

Building integrity -- keeping promises: Erick Rainey at TEDxUnionTerrace 2014 (10:21)

The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.-- Harvey S. Firestone

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Google: Guide – Understanding Team Effectiveness

Leadership is About Humility and Empowering Others (3:45)

Video: How to Delegate Better with the 7 Delegation Levels

TED: Why good leaders make you feel save; Simon Sinek

Technology is the great growling engine of change.-- Alvin Toffler

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HBR: How to collaborate effectively if your team is remote, Erica Dhawan and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Why you should treat the tech you use at work like a colleague | Nadjia Yousif (11:36)

Collection: Tools for remote teams, Lisette Sutherland

Culture eats strategy for breakfast.-- Peter Drucker

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HBR article: Changing Company Culture Requires a Movement, Not a Mandate, Bryan Walker and Sarah A. Soule

Simon Sinek: How to Build a Company That People Want to Work For | Inc. Magazine (8:55)

TED series "The way we work": That is what makes employees happy at work

Defensiveness often reveals an area in our lives where we are in denial.-- Kyle Idleman

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Video (2:12m): The Four Horsemen of the Apokalypse, The Gottman Institute

Cultivating Collaboration: Don't Be So Defensive! | Jim Tamm | TEDxSantaCruz (15:17)

TEDx talk (17:36): How to not take things personally, Frederik Imbo

Ideas.ted.com: The #1 blocker in teamwork is defensiveness. Here‘s how to diffuse it, Kara Cutruzzala

Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concers of mistakes.-- Amy Edmondson

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TED talk (12:56m): How to turn a group of strangers into a team, Amy Edmondson

Creating Psychological Safety at Work in a Knowledge Economy | Amy Edmondson, Harvard (3:13)

HBR article: High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It, Laura Delizonna

Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.-- Paul J. Meyer

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HBR article: How to Focus on What’s Important, Not Just What’s Urgent, Alice Boyes

The Art of Stress-Free Productivity: David Allen at TEDxClaremontColleges (22:15)

I was raised to treat the janitor with the same respect as the CEO.-- Tom Hardy

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Personality test: 16Personalities

Why being respectful to your coworkers is good for business | Christine Porath (15:24)

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People don't buy what you do; they buy why you do it.-- Simon Sinek

Article (9m read): The power of starting with why, Ameet Ranadive

Article: A 12-Minute Summary of "Start With Why", Tejas Kinger

Start with why -- how great leaders inspire action | Simon Sinek | TEDxPugetSound (18:01)

Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.-- Roy T. Bennett

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TED talk (10:00min): A simple trick to develop positive thinking, Alison Ledgerwood

Be A Player, Not A Victim, Fred Kofman (12:56)

TED talk (14:17): Want to be happy? Be grateful, David Steindl-Rast

TED talk (12:00): To overcome challenges, stop comparing yourself to others, Dean Furness

View on Amazon: "Mindset - Updated Edition: Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential", Carol Dweck

Nothing will kill a great employee faster than watching you tolerate a bad one.-- Perry Belcher

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Video (6:46m): The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni

Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni (2:10)

Book: The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni

A picture is worth a thousand words.-- Proverb

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David Sibbet on The 7 Basic Figures of Visual Facilitation

Got a wicked problem? First, show me how you make toast. Tom Wujec (9:05)

Homepage -- Obeya Association

TED talk (17:59): The beauty of data classification, David McCandless

Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can be only forgiven, not forgotten.-- Unknown

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Article: Killer phrases: The top 40, Joyce Weiss

Top 10 Killer Phrases (1:07)

PDF: 25 Idea Killer Phrases, Randy Pennington

TED talk (14:12): How language shapes the way we think, Lera Boroditsky

Sharing is caring.-- Proverb

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Article: Introduction to communities of practice

Working Out Loud: The making of a movement | John Stepper | TEDxNavesink (9:49)

Homepage: Working Out Loud (WOL)

Homepage: Liberating Structures

Even a bad idea is just a bridge to a better idea.-- Kelly Leonhard

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Video: Improvisational Warm Ups : Playing the „Yes, And?“ Improv Game by expertvillage

Bob Kulhan: Improv 101 (The "Yes, and..." Principle) (2:49)

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.-- Leonardo da Vinci

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Presentation Zen | Garr Reynolds | Talks at Google (1:11:47)

Video: How Presentation Zen Fixed My Bad PowerPoints, Cult of Pedagogy