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Building Coalitions: The Art of Successful Collaboration


Downsized workforces, intractable problems, and difficult customers all create an increasing need for better partnerships and cooperation among federal agencies, state and local agencies, nonprofits, and even private sector companies.

Senior federal employees must lead collaboratively and strategically. Your organization can share resources, decision-making, and ownership of the final product or service to foster a government capable of successful adaptation to new circumstances, issues, and opportunities. In this course, you’ll expand your perspectives and collaborate with others by exploring the dynamics of relationship building and the exercise of personal influence and authority.

While designed to strengthen your individual capacity for collaborative leadership in today’s complex government environment, the course also addresses key questions of trust, differing administrative structures and cultures, and how agency roles and responsibilities often get in the way of cooperative efforts.


  • ECQ 5: Building Coalitions

  • External Awareness

  • Influencing/Negotiating

  • Interpersonal Skills

  • Partnering


  • 5 days


  • Online


This course gives you the framework, tools, and confidence to build coalitions and create change through proactive collaboration. You’ll apply the following ideas and tools to create a tested framework for implementing successful collaboration back in your workplace:

  • Understanding the idea of ‘self’ within your organization and ‘self’ as a leader in a collaborative context will help you recognize barriers to change that may prevent collaboration from within yourself, from others, and from the organizational environment.

  • Broadening your perspective on issue-framing and problem-solving approaches will help you better anticipate and resolve issues that can arise in a collaborative situation.

  • Learning other agencies’ success and set-back stories will help you identify similar best practices or missteps when collaborating back in your workplace.

  • Understanding the power of influence in problem solving and negotiation will allow you to offer high-quality contributions when working in group environments.


Who Should Attend

Members of the Senior Executive Service (SES), GS-14/15 and equivalents in state, local, and international government.


You must have taken at least one of the following assessment instruments for leadership self-awareness prior to attending the class:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)

  • CliftonStrengths

  • EQi

  • DiSC


  • OPM Leadership 360 or equivalent



Additional Information

You are required to prepare a one- to two-page description of a current management problem to share with your small group prior to attending. The problem will be shared on the first day of the course and can be anything that would lend itself to group problem solving (personnel issue, organizational barriers, blocked communication, etc.). Each group will choose a problem as a case-study to work on throughout the course.

If you have not taken any of the assessments listed above, we recommend completing one of the following courses prior to attending:

  • Emotional Intelligence

  • Leadership Assessment Program 1 (LAP 1)

  • Leadership Assessment Program 2 (LAP 2)

  • Management Development 2: Leading Organizations

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