The collaborative processes that emerge from the interactions between partners will not always be immediately recognisable. Those that arise naturally from day-to-day interactions rather than being formally co-created and agreed, either becoming informally agreed "given the nod" ways of working or habitual (often unhelpful) approaches individual partners use when interacting with specific partners or types of partner, can develop and establish themselves beyond a collaboration's conscious awareness.
To bring these informal understanding and habits into a collaboration's conscious awareness, they need to be seen clearly. Then, partners can form an accurate and shared picture of the way they are working with each other and identify and address snags that have appeared within the collaborative system (as well as strengthen and encourage informal practices of proven worth).
Rich pictures and pictor diagrams (which are a visually engaging type of sociogram) can be used to highlight the above mentioned understandings and habits. If some aspects of these tools can be co-created and owned by all those that use them (as was the case with the pictor diagram example given within the above link), then the benefit to the collaborative process will be three-fold. In addition to being able to identify and address snags and identify and encourage informal practices of proven worth, partners will (through the task of adapting the tools to their specific needs and preferences) enhance their interactions with each other and their ability to assimilate differing perceptions and ideas; the act of co-creating ways to enhance their understanding of their collaborative relationships and process will, of itself, enhance their collaborative relationships and process.
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