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It has been proven time and time again that working across boundaries of discipline, culture and mindset is one of the most effective ways to find innovative solutions to seemingly intractable problems. It is also clear that with the many issues that face our planet we will need to bridge worlds of difference in order to find places of similarity and synergy.

With this in mind, think of a time in your life when you worked with others from different backgrounds, disciplines or points of view, and as a result, you made a powerful contribution to the wellbeing of your family, your organisation, your community, or perhaps even the entire planet.

What were the factors that contributed to this outcome?

  • What personal qualities, attitudes, beliefs and values were present in yourself and the other people you worked with?
  • What competencies and skills contributed to this outcome?
  • What resources did you access (tangible and intangible)?
  • What processes helped? Formal and informal?

What will help you have the best experience?

  • Participate as much as you can, that way the whole group will benefit.
  • Be mindful of differences in language and culture and help others to join in and understand.
  • Don’t always assume others know acronyms, jargon or slang, or that they will participate at the same speed you do.
  • Listen to, and respect all points of view, even if they are very different than your own (suspend your judgement as best you can)
  • Inquire rather than debate and seek to understand others rather than persuade
  • Question assumptions, especially your own
  • Try taking a different point of view than you are used to, or take a few risks with what you are contributing.
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  • Last modified: 2008-07-25 03:37
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