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Behave Reminder For Young Person, Top ViewIn her consulting work with organizations, teams expert Eunice Parisi-Carew finds that organizations sometimes confuse collaboration with simply getting along or being polite. That’s a common mistake—and one of the most difficult to address.

“Collaboration is often hardest within polite groups of people because they don’t tend to express differences openly,” explains Parisi-Carew. “True collaboration is built on the appreciation of diverse opinions. In many departments or project groups, the standard behavior is to shy away from conflict or debate. People are afraid to speak their truth.”

Parisi-Carew, a coauthor with Ken Blanchard and Jane Ripley of the new book, Collaboration Begins with You, (on sale October 12) explains that one key to creating a collaborative environment is a department or project leader who models what constructive disagreement looks like. For leaders interested in taking some first steps toward improving collaboration in their organizations, here are seven suggestions—drawn from…

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