Although we arrive into the world as separate and unique beings, it is our destiny to form relationships that will connect us to diverse people. These relationships form family memories, friendships and a sense of community that exist, with all of their innate differences, at the same time. Being willing to give help and to be helped form the foundation of collaboration. For example, think like a goose. When a goose starts its migration south or north, it flaps its wings creating uplift. This uplift encourages other geese to follow. The geese form a “v” formation adding 71% aerodynamic flow to the group. Collaboration is built on trust and a sense of community and focus that helps us achieve more than we could alone. Collaboration forms partnerships like in marriage, business, and friendships. Some people join together to share common interests or to take action or to solve problems. Collaboration means creating a mission to come together, defining a project or work to be done, who will contribute what, shared responsibilities and a time frame for completion.
People collaborate to make the world a better place to live!
Activity 1 – empathy
When a goose gets sick, two geese drop out of formation and follow it to the ground to help protect it. When collaborating in a group, it is important to support those individuals who need extra assistance in coming to meetings and contributing to meetings. How can you reach out to those who are shy, challenged and afraid? How can you put yourself in another person’s place? Being curious and respectful about the other person helps, even if it is someone you already know. Being open and attentive helps the other person to be comfortable and at ease. In partnerships, honesty is the best policy. With a partner, organize a project and make a Venn diagram poster about the project that shares what each of you will contribute.
Expand your empathy for collaboration!
Activity 2 – encouragement
Have you heard geese honking as they fly by overhead? Geese flying in formation encourage those up front to keep up their speed. Encouragement in groups and teams creates feelings of positivity and people who feel good are likely to work harder and longer to achieve goals. Think about compliments and encouraging words you can say to a family member, a friend, or a partner you are working together with. Well Done! Way to go! Chief Effort! Over the top! Keep a daily journal for one week of encouraging phrases. Make an encouragement poster to post in your classroom to increase positive thinking! You may be surprised that you feel encouraged giving out so much encouragement!
Now you are a team player!
Activity 3 – teamwork
When a goose falls out of formation, it feels a drag and a resistance from flying alone. Geese quickly move back into the “V” formation to feel share in the lifting support of flying with other geese. Working alone sometimes takes much more effort and individual motivation than working collaboratively. In successful teamwork, every member is encouraged to contribute to his or her potential. Team members learn from each others’ skills. Make a team of at least three people. Thinking like the geese, empower every team member to contribute their best to the end goal. Work together to create a social change agenda in your school. This could be a new club, or it could be a campaign, or something else you imagine would improve your school. Organize meetings, make a mission and implement collaborative change! Create a calendar storyboard for your club or campaign.
Activity 4 – Classroom Collaboration
When a goose leading the “V” tires, it drops back in the formation and another goose flies to the point position. Leadership is a quality that helps organizes groups of people to work together, but it needs to share responsibilities and be shared. Everyone has a skill, a talent, an interest to share and leaders who are able to focus everyone’s contribution to work together create successful collaboration. Being open to diverse ideas and listening carefully to others help team members feel a self worth in making contributions. Research and draw the team organization noting the people who collaborate and the people who are served.
Create your collaboration poster!
Activity 5 – community collaboration
Take a look around your community. What teams collaborate to reach the elderly? Who collects food for food drives? Who collects clothes for homeless people? Working together usually generates more creativity and industriousness than working in isolation. Make a map of collaborative organizations in your community. Share who they serve. Make a collection and contribute to one of the organizations.
Activity 6 – global collaboration
How are you collaborating globally? You may be surprised to learn your true interdependence on others from around the world. A good start is the National Geographic Closet Calculator. Take a moment to check out where your clothes come from. Try your hand at creating your own pair of jeans to bring your collaboration closer to home. Even simpler, take a look at your ordinary pencil. Where did the materials come from? How were they extracted, manufactured, produced, packaged and transported to arrive in the drawer of your desk at home or school? Check out the geography of your pencil.
- The foundation of collaboration is
- Collaboration is key to working together.
- Partnerships can be with
- Helping others to feel confidant enough to contribute can be done by
- Geese work together by
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