How To: The Collaboration Audit

Valerie Willis

Printer-Friendly Version

Objective: Incorporate the Collaboration Audit — a great tool that Jim and Barry created and published in the 3rd Edition of The Leadership Challenge?to help teams work through collaboration and focus on the practice of Enable Others to Act.

Audience: Training and coaching clients.


  • One large (18 x 24) sample of the Collaboration Audit for each table or group of participants
  • Pens or pencils


1. There are fifteen items on the Collaboration Audit. Ask each participating team to rate each item as a group, using a scale of 1 to 5. Explain that any statement that receives an initial rating of 3 or less should be discussed further — for clarity and understanding — and teams should consider any changes that would increase collaboration.

2. Ask each group to identify the items ranked 3 or less and explain why. [Note: I have found that item #4 of the Collaboration Audit generates a lot of discussion. Keep an eye on that one.]

3. Discuss the three essentials of collaboration. In The Leadership Challenge, Jim and Barry identify these as:

  1. Create a climate of trust
  2. Facilitate positive interdependence
  3. Support face-to-face interactions

4. Next, explore how each of the Collaboration Audit statements match up to these three essentials:

  1. Statements 1,2,3,4,5 measure ?climate of trust?
  2. Statements 6,7,8,9,10 measure ?facilitate positive interdependence?
  3. Statements 11,12,13,14,15 measure ?support face to face interactions?

Facilitator Note: You could give each person an audit and have them total scores. However to facilitate group collaboration, I prefer to print the audit on 18x24 paper and bring the group together around the audit as they discuss the statements.

Collaboration Audit

Developed by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner

Rate the extent to which you agree or disagree that each statement describes the actions of people in your organization. Use the following scale to indicate your level of agreement or disagreement.

Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Disagree nor Agree Agree Strongly Agree
1 2 3 4 5

Around here, people...

_____ 1. Act in a trustworthy and trusting manner.

_____ 2. Ask others for help and assistance when needed.

_____ 3. Treat others with dignity and respect.

_____ 4. Talk openly about their feelings.

_____ 5. Listen attentively to the opinions of others.

_____ 6. Express clarity about the group's goal.

_____ 7. Make personal sacrifices to meet a larger group goal.

_____ 8. Can rely on each other.

_____ 9. Pitch in to help when others are busy or running behind.

_____ 10. Give credit to others for their contributions.

_____ 11. Interact with each other on a regular basis.

_____ 12. Treat every relationship as if it will last for a lifetime, even if it won't.

_____ 13. Make it their business to introduce their colleagues to people who can help them succeed.

_____ 14. Freely pass along information that might be useful to others.

_____ 15. Relate well to people of diverse backgrounds and interests.

Valerie Willis is a Master Facilitator of The Leadership Challenge® Workshop and principal of Valarie Willis Consulting in Loveland, OH, where she focuses on strategic management consulting. She can be reached at