Think about processes that can support trusting and inclusive relationships in your own collaborations. Here are some examples that can act as enablers to building trusting and inclusive relationships.


  • Being inclusive,
  • Working collaboratively,
  • Trusting and respecting others,
  • Being accountable,
  • Building trusting team relationships.

Being inclusive means inviting others to the table, recognize their expertise and acknowledge their contributions often.

Open conversation between two people.Being inclusive also means inviting not only those who may agree with you and support your position but also those who hold diverse views. There is an advantage when you strive for diversity.

One public health professional describes building their collaboration capacity this way “Sometimes we tend to avoid inviting people to the table because of a fear of tensions which might arise when infact we need their viewpoints and work with this creative tension. In our collaborations this helps us address our complex issues.”

Another public health manager explained their approach to inclusivity this way “In our collaboration, we invite not only those that hold similar views to ours; we include participants who have firsthand experience with various issues such as poverty, marginalization, sexism, ageism, and exclusivity. We often have lay leaders and citizens on our 

Group meetingcollaboration team to represent diversity and speak to the lived experience. It always makes a difference for us – it’s a richer collaboration.”

Working collaboratively means where everyone is open and sees that everyone shares a lot of common turf.

Trusting and respecting others: Primary care partners expressed the importance of previous positive working relationships with public health as enabling collaborations. Public Health Worker“I find because we have worked together in the past and had a strong, trusting relationship, we bring this to our current collaboration.”

My experience was similar. There was a good synergy between the nurse practitioner and myself as we had worked in Public Health in the past. I had worked in family practice in the past, Primary Care Physicianand we had an appreciation for where each other was coming from. Having shared past experiences in the other sector and sharing values, beliefs, and attitudes not only supports role clarity but it is also related to building trusting and inclusive relationships leading to successful collaborations.”

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 Related: Role Clarity 

When people are accountable, they acknowledge the importance of the relationship and support interactions to make it stronger – such as making it a priority to attend jointly scheduled meetings.

Team building and enhancing trust: These assist in strengthening the collaborative processes and can be enhanced by:

  • Joint training sessions provides interprofessional opportunities for learning around collaboration.
  • Trusting and inclusive relationships flourish in settings where partners practice effective communication.
  • Trusting and inclusive relationships flourish in settings where partners have shared values about services being offered and philosophy of care.
  • Individual partners who have positive personal qualities, knowledge and skills related to collaboration strengthen trusting and inclusive relationships.

Related IconRelated: Effective Communication
Related: Shared Values, Beliefs and Attitudes
Related: Personal Qualities, Knowledge and Skills

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