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Stage 3: Experimentation

As the project begins to become established, a great deal of experimentation will still be taking place, both in the pursuit of solutions to practical problems and in the management of ongoing relationships between the participants. Understanding and managing differences of culture, language and objectives often remains a complex task and it is important for all participants that they maintain a sense of adventure and a willingness to experiment in order to achieve optimum solutions. Ground rules agreed in the Initiation stage may need to be re-negotiated; channels of communication adjusted; and time dedicated to reviewing progress and problems.
  • Test out initial agreements and procedures – recognise wider stakeholder interests
  • Actively encourage reflection – share cultural learning with the wider team
  • Revise collaborative systems and procedures
  • Maintain effective ongoing communication, and ensure engagement
  • Harness the networks – use the opportunity to access wider respective networks and utilise additional resource
New thinking – question assumptions and modify stereotypes


Synergistic solutions – ensure that different cultural perspectives are not suppressed but are used in problem-solving
Attuning – pick up meaning from indirect signals such as intonation, eye contact and body language
Stylistic flexibility – use different language styles flexibly to suit different purposes, contexts and audiences
Building of shared knowledge disclose and elicit key information and intentions (to help build trust and mutual understanding and to reduce uncertainty)
Communication Management – deal with communication problems
Rapport building exhibit warmth and friendliness – maintain and extend working relationships
Interpersonal attentiveness – pay focused attention to individual sensitivities (e.g. status, competence, social identity)
Acceptanceaccept other people and do not attempt to change them
Self-awareness – be sensitive to how one comes across to others
Resilience – risk making mistakes and reflect on any mistakes in a positive way
Coping – find suitable ways of dealing with stress, uncertainty and lack of control over certain situations