The 7 Norms of Collaboration: Effective Rules for Productive Teamwork


When you become a member of a team, you also become part of that team’s culture. The way people interact with one another and the norms that are established predict the group’s success. Collaboration is key to successful team building, which means team members must work together as efficiently and effectively as possible. Team members must share information and keep one another informed on projects and responsibilities. However, in an environment where trust is earned and not given, collaboration can be challenging. Here are the 7 norms of collaboration that will help your team succeed.

Why is Team Collaboration Important?

Collaboration is the act of working together to reach a common goal. It is a process that results in better communication and more effective problem-solving. However, collaboration is not a one-time event. It is a lifestyle. The collaboration will improve your company’s performance by increasing productivity and employee engagement.

Performance is the ability to achieve desired results. Productivity is one of the most common ways to measure performance. Productivity is measured by comparing the amount of work completed with the number of resources used. Collaboration can improve productivity because team members can help one another complete work in a timely manner. Collaboration and analysis also have a positive effect on employee engagement at work.

Employee engagement is a measure of how happy and productive employees are. Engaged employees tend to stay with the company longer. Engagement is also contagious.

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Ensure collaboration

What Are the 7 Norms of Collaboration?

Garmston and Wellman introduced the original “7 standards of collaboration” in their writings. These collaborative principles have been extensively used across several fields. The only time a group overall produces an effective result is when the members are in agreement with one another. Only effective social structures can finally create a team that functions well. Collaborative abilities are therefore crucial while working in a group of people.

How to Teach the 7 Norms of Collaboration at Work?

The best way to introduce your team members to these norms of collaboration is by creating a culture of continuous improvement. By committing to such continuous improvement, your team members will begin to adopt these norms more quickly.

First, hold a team meeting to introduce the 7 norms of collaboration. Next, create a team collaboration toolkit with the information your team needs to succeed. Collaboration can be challenging, but it can also be fun. If your team members have the information they need, the collaboration will be much easier.


Encourage discussions

How to Organize Tasks According to the 7 Norms of Collaboration?

Before you can start organizing tasks, you must understand the 7 norms of collaboration. Organizing tasks according to the 7 norms of collaboration will improve your team’s productivity and create a sense of urgency. It will also help your team members better understand their roles and responsibilities.

There are many ways you can organize tasks according to the 7 norms of collaboration. You can use a board, software, or even sticky notes. Start by creating a large whiteboard that your entire team can see. Write each of the norms on a different section of the board. Next, assign a different color to each norm. Once the board is all set up, your team members can move sticky notes around. This will allow your team members to track their daily tasks and responsibilities more efficiently.

The 7 Norms of Collaboration


The 7 Norms of Collaboration

  1. Pausing

Before answering or asking a question, take a moment to reflect. This will spark a conversation and improve decision-making. It’s one of those factors that seem so simple, but is actually quite difficult. Nevertheless, taking a moment to pause can be very beneficial and effective because it gives the group a chance to think.

If we don’t pause, we run the risk of formulating our responses while another person is speaking, which amounts to a lack of active listening. Actually, pausing is more of a listening ability than anything else, allowing you to gather your thoughts before responding.

  1. Paraphrasing

Checking for comprehension and advancing the meaningful dialogue to a profound level are the main goals of the paraphrase. It is helping members of the group hear and understand a colleague’s comments while they chat and make choices by using a paraphrase that is appropriate for you, such as “So…” or “As you are…” or “You’re thinking…”

  1. Posing Questions

To investigate and define thinking are the two goals of question posing. It is possible to ask questions to elicit responses from others and to probe perceptions, presumptions, and judgments which enhances dialogue. Understanding a person’s thinking is developed through investigating beliefs and interpretations. In order to have a constructive conversation, one must first consider the opinions of others before promoting their own views.

  1. Putting Ideas on the Table

The core of each meaningful discussion is an idea. Clearly state your remarks’ purpose. For instance, “Here is one notion…”, “One thinking I have is…”, “Here is a potential strategy…”, or “Another thing to think about may be…”

It happens extremely infrequently for an idea to be expressed verbally and then used exactly as intended for positive and constructive intentions. It’s crucial that your ideas belong to the group because they are typically altered, sculpted, and modified along the process. That is what the expression “placing ideas on the table” often refers to. It is relinquishing ownership. Give the suggestion to the group.

  1. Providing Data

Giving group members data in a variety of ways, both qualitative and quantitative, aids in the construction of a common understanding of their work. Data only has as much meaning as we assign it; shared meaning arises from collectively examining, deciphering, and interpreting data. In this context, data may refer to a wide range of items.

We’re dealing with information in a number of formats, which might be both qualitative methods. In essence, it’s everything that helps the group members develop that insight from their work as a whole. Data may also be used in a more conventional way, such as when we get census information from the neighborhood in which we live.

  1. Paying Attention to Self and Others

Each group member must be attentive to themselves and to one another, as well as to what they are saying, how they are expressing it, and how others are responding. This entails taking into account different learning styles while organizing, leading, and taking part in group discussions and meetings.

  1. Presuming Positive Intentions

Assuming good intentions in others encourages and enables meaningful conversation and discussion and minimizes unintended insults. Speaking with good intentions is one example of this standard in action.

It needs to constantly be a component of whatever you do. Once you do this, it may truly encourage and support meaningful conversation.


Support growth


In order for teams to collaborate successfully, they must follow certain guidelines. Collaboration requires that team members have a shared purpose, clear roles and responsibilities, open communication, equal participation, a common understanding, and a supportive environment. By following these guidelines, team members will build trust and create a safe environment.

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