Collaboration and Communication

How do we define collaboration and communication?

Collaboration and communication are interpersonal skills that help people work well with one another. Collaboration and communication involve being able to read the vast number of verbal and nonverbal cues that we all use to communicate our ideas and emotions. People need to learn to build shared understanding, negotiate outcomes, and cultivate trust to work together to solve the problems that no one can solve alone.

To help students and our community understand collaboration and communication and to aid our students in developing these critical skills, we have developed a set of scholarly habits in alignment with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) competencies for social emotional learning.

We teach two scholarly habits unique to collaboration and communication and a third that crosses between character and collaboration and communication skills:

I show compassion and embrace diversity:

This scholarly habit is aligned with CASEL’s competency for social awareness. They define social awareness as the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. In addition, showing compassion and embracing diversity includes the ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.


I can connect and collaborate:

This scholarly habit is defined by CASEL's competency for relationship skills. They describe relationship skills as the ability to establish and maintain health and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. Strong relationship skills also involve the ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.


I act with integrity:

This scholarly habit bridges across our definitions of both character and collaboration and communication. Acting with integrity is associated with CASEL's competency of responsible decision making and is defined as the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standard, safety concerns, and social norms. In addition, to act with integrity people must realistically evaluate various consequences of actions with consideration of the wellbeing of themselves and others.