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James Tamm - Want Better Collaboration Dont Be So Defensive


Jim's keynote will challenge you to look at yourself through self-critical eyes. Entitled “Want Better Collaboration? Don't be so Defensive!”, Jim will discuss skills essential for effective collaboration. In particular, he will focus on achieving success even during difficult interactions. He will show how your own defensiveness is a key factor in resolving conflicts and building collaboration. He will share practical tools designed to help you manage your own defensiveness.

For most of his career, Jim was a Senior Administrative Law Judge for the State of California. He had jurisdiction over public sector disputes in the workplace. He mediated over 1,500 labor disputes, including more school district labor strikes than any other person in the United States. For several years he was a member of a collaboration special task force. They designed and taught collaboration skills to highly conflicted public sector organizations. The project was wildly successful. It helped build trust, reduce conflict and create more collaborative working environments.

Jim is President of RC Group, LLC. He maintains offices in South San Francisco, California, Cuernavaca, Mexico and Stockholm, Sweden. He specializes in building cultures of collaboration within organizations. He also trains other consultants and trainers how to teach collaborative skills.


  • Content rating (0-no new ideas, 5 - a new ideas/approach, 9-new ideas): 7
  • Style rating (0-average presentstion, 5 - my level, 9-I learned something about presenting): 6

Useful presentation that helped me personally. And well presented with interaction.

Action / Learning



Chicken story Breeding 1 year aggressive 260% increase in eg laying, 55% less mortality

Red zone - produce more red zone behavior Green zone - same for green More eggs and lower mortality

Can be applied to humans

See stats for green and red companies over 11 years Kotter and hasket

Cannot compete externally if you are competing internally

5 key skills to improve collaboration Mindset and practice

Collaborative intention Stay focused on mutual gains in you relationship Stay in green zone and get curious or go in the red zone and get furious

Are you operating in the red zone on the green zone? Start in red zone Just by paying attention every day got to green zone

Notice if you are in the red zone / green zone

What pushes you into the red zone? Pulls helps you return to green zone?

Truthfulness Safe enough to raise difficult issues

Death by 1000 cuts is way it manifests itself

Self accountability

What choices are available What choices are being made

Not - the made us do it

Be accountable for unintended and intend consequences

Self awareness

Build awareness about your own self defensive

Negotiating and problem solving

System of negotiation would not help if you arrive at table with wrong attitude

Could help with individuals as well

Biggest killer to collaboration Better managing own defensiveness

Defensiveness budget More meetings Revisiting Triangulating People not tell the truth

Think about defensiveness. What does it cost.

If reduce defense you increase ability to solve problems

Therefore stay in green zone

Become one with the piece of paper Deep breath in out Scrunch up (lead) - anyone want to collaborate with me See how quick it changes

Defensiveness does not protect us from other people It defends use from fears we don't want to feel

Big areas My competency

I might start blaming

Putting whipped cream on dog poo Look between but doesn't deal with underlying issue

Not always aware of our fears therefore look at the defensive behaviors

What are your defensiveness See list Check which ones apply to me Circle top 3

Share with neighbor Not secret information

This is a human condition

Useful also to know what the defensive behaviors of colleagues

Personalized warning system To stop you becoming less effective

What do about it Acknowledge that you are getting defensive (perhaps let others know as well) Slow down (your phisoloogy - eg go for walk, visualize calm place) Check negative self talk - turn into something a little less toxic for yourself Create a personalized action plan Start over

Start noticing if in red zone / green zone Look for defensiveness Practice your action plan

/home/hpsamios/ · Last modified: 2020/06/02 14:21 by