Collaborative Relationships

Anyone working in a public library, in any capacity, must interact productively and collaboratively in order to accomplish individual and organizational goals. Mastering interpersonal competencies is a worthy goal for any library employee.

Last updated: July 4, 2014

Competency: Develops and maintains healthy relationships with others to achieve common goals

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:     

  • Possesses self knowledge and awareness of one’s own behaviour in group situations
  • Treats everyone with camaraderie, honesty, respect and fairness, building an environment of trust
  • Contributes to a collaborative, committed and collegial work environment
  • Understands and embraces individual and organizational diversity
  • Values differences of opinion and listens with openness and curiosity
  • Acknowledges own strengths and contributions, and recognizes the complementary strengths and contributions of others
  • Recognizes the need for improvement, both in self and others
  • Shares knowledge gained through professional discussions, conferences, formal courses and informal channels with colleagues, customers and stakeholders
  • Gives and receives constructive feedback.

Competency: Works collaboratively in teams or groups

 Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Contributes constructively to the achievement of the team’s goals and objectives
  • Assumes shared responsibility for collaborative work, and values the individual contributions made by each team member
  • Contributes to a creative problem-solving environment and works toward mutually acceptable solutions, regardless of position or level
  • Participates actively in information-gathering and decision-making in order to promote the best interests of the team and the library 
  • Manages own and, as appropriate, others’ time effectively to deliver work on time
  • Finds opportunities to help others develop new ideas and achieve their full potential
  • Gives and receives coaching and/or mentoring to/from team members as appropriate.

Competency: Demonstrates an aptitude for collective problem solving 

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Generates shared responsibility for problem solving and engages multiple perspectives
  • Demonstrates familiarity with a problem solving process/framework
  • Gathers information from a variety of sources
  • Engages people in both creative and critical thinking
  • Contributes best thinking to deciding on the right course of action based on the information available
  • Debriefs and learns from successful and unsuccessful decisions and implementations.

Competency: Practises informal leadership

 Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Influences others in a positive way, generating buy-in and enthusiasm for organizational mission and vision
  • Encourages others to get involved and engage in organizational initiatives
  • Helps others be successful and contributes to overall library success
  • Considers new ideas/new ways of doing things
  • Asks probing questions in order to understand and build on others’ ideas
  • Champions innovation and improvements to service
  • Models excellence by engaging in desired behaviours and service standards
  • Provides visible support for others during times of stress or crisis  
  • Steps forward to lead as needed and as appropriate.

Competency: Employs effective strategies to manage organizational politics, conflict and difficult co-worker behaviours

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Understands that organizations (including libraries) are inherently political and develops strategies to become an effective player
  • Understands a variety of difficult behaviour patterns and develops responses appropriate to each
  • Routinely examines own behaviour, accepts accountability for own actions and adjusts appropriately
  • Practises patience and tact in defusing volatile situations and striving for agreement as necessary
  • Understands and applies strategies for conflict resolution.


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