C2 Working together

  • Within a community, there will be many situations where health workers, farmers, teachers, extension workers and others need to work alongside or co-operate with other people. Successful co-operation needs understanding of other people’s views, concern for the needs of others and sharing of the same goal.
  • Take time to listen to what others are doing, how they are doing it and what the results have been. Take time to discuss ways their work could be changed to bring in new skills or people. Always try to build on what others are doing rather than starting again. Always remember that everyone has something to offer.


  • Discuss this quotation by Stephen Corey: ‘Seek to understand someone before you seek to be understood.’ What do participants think of this idea?
  • Discuss any existing co-operation between different organisations in the area. If there is none, discuss what sort of co-operation might be useful.
  • This is a good exercise which shows the results of not working together:

You will need felt pens, large sheet of paper for each person, plenty of table space.

Divide people into groups of four to six. Each group should sit together. It is very important that people do not discuss what they are doing!

Give each person a sheet of paper and ask them to begin drawing a picture of their own choice. After a few minutes, ask them to stop drawing and pass their piece of paper on to the next person. Each person should then continue with the incomplete drawing that they receive. Repeat this process until each person has back their own original drawing. Give each person time to look at their own drawing.

The following points can be discussed – you may think of others, especially if you were watching people as they took part in this activity.
• When you added to someone else’s drawing, did you understand what that person was trying to draw?
• Were the additions to your picture appropriate and relevant? Is your picture better or worse than you had hoped? Why?
• How did you feel if the picture you wanted to draw was changed? Why?
• What did you do if the picture you received was almost complete?
• How did you feel if the picture you received had just been started?
• Was anyone afraid to begin drawing a picture? Why?
• Did anyone find it difficult or easy to add to a picture? Why?
• What conclusions can you reach after completing this exercise?
• How could they affect how you feel about team work in the future? 

Adapted from ‘Health Care Together’ published by TALC. Edited by M P Johnston and S B Rilkin.