The Do’s of Collaboration


ZimZum is the energy between two collaborating forces when they come together under a unified idea to create something new. This is not a new term or something we invented. In fact, it’s an understanding from the 15th century. The idea of collaboration and bringing together human brain power to accomplish something dates back to the Roman Empire. Of course, this begs the question, are we using our power for good or for evil? Certainly we’ve seen examples of both.


We believe life change and organizational change is the most possible when the collaborative approach is engaged and thriving. Does this mean everyone has to agree? Absolutely not (this is not the work of unicorns and rainbows). But we do believe that honest conversation about what collaboration looks like is necessary to move forward in a spirit of uniting to create something new.


This is what that looks like:

“Hi, nice to meet you.”

“Hi, nice to meet you, I’ll be your Life Guidance Consultant, let’s establish some ground rules about collaboration.”


So in the effort for transparency, here is our A-list of the “Do’s of Collaboration:”

Do communicate with KIND honesty. Honest communication includes listening. Perhaps listening is harder than speaking--why, because to truly listen means to not pass judgment and think about what you’re going to say next. This is key in building an honest, trusting relationship. We should not be shocked, shaken, or stirred when speaking to each other about someone’s life experiences. Most times when an individual has reached out for professional  help, it is because the problem or situation has really escalated; someone’s safety is in jeopardy, someone’s quality of life has significantly been affected, or we are at the crossroads of decision making. There is literally no time at this juncture to waste on gauging impressions.

Do rely on humility and allowing yourself to be wrong (professionals included) in order to build trust. As consultants, we are often thrust into situations where we are labeled “the expert.” Often we hear, “you’re the expert, what do I do about this?” My response is 9 times out of 10, “Actually, you’re the expert on your child (you can also insert “you” here), I am just here to help remove the barriers, give clarity, and cheer you on.” It’s not meant to be cliche. It is simply the ultimate goal; even if the individual doesn’t have the confidence to feel like the expert at that given moment, we will help get them get there since our presence in their lives is miniscule in comparison to the amount of time they will have to spend with themselves or that loved one.

Which leads into our last step toward collaboration, empower the individual to feel in control. Ultimately, there is very little, we as an organization or as team of professionals can control about behavior, mental health, or guiding life into a new direction. We are helping, assisting and hoping to bring clarity to situations. But this is not our journey. This journey has your name on it, and that is why we want you to know you are strong enough, good enough, and wise enough to take this on. You have been given the brains, body, and soul that you need to choose, endure, persist, turn around, stop, run… whatever action your journey requires of you. We are here to help you discover how to use those gifts, talents, and past experiences to shape you into who you need to be to be at your best. Your support (whether it be ZimZum or other motivating supports in your life) is simply the collaborative catalyst to the actions you (come to) believe are possible.

Written by: Josi Garcia

Josi Garcia is the Co-Founder of ZimZum Consulting Collaboration. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has experience working with schools and families supporting individuals with special needs.