80% efficiency increase

Summary of the Analysis: Training in Collaborative Communication

By Dr. Jane Connor with Dr. Dian Killian, Dr. Robert Wentworth, Martha Lasley, MBA. Translation: Pernille Plantener.

The findings of Merck, Inc., confirmed by research conducted by the CCC (Center for Collaborative Communication), document significant gains from training in listening skills in the workplace.

In a two-part study conducted by the international, US-owned pharmaceutical company Merck Inc. In collaboration with the CCC, significant results of training in workplace communication were achieved, including greater efficiency, higher motivation and improved teamwork. The preliminary results were presented at the Psychologists for Social Responsibility 30th Anniversary Conference on July 13, 2012 in Washington, DC A more detailed peer-reviewed report is being prepared.

CC model

Collaborative Communikation (CC) is an integrated system of concepts and skills that promote high quality relationships, a positive working environment and effective communication in the common purpose service. CC can be taught individually, asynchronously to individuals or in groups.

(Translator's Note: Collaborative Communication's values ​​and working methods are synonymous with Nonviolent Communication®, in Danish Nonviolent Communication®, see page 7 in the full report.)


Participants in the CC training program included four teams working on a joint project (three internal teams and one team from an external partner). The tailor-made six-month program included pre-workout interviews, a five-day intensive course, monthly one-day workouts, coaching twice a month, and printed materials.

The investigation

The purpose of this study was to assess the CC training of a group of managers at Merck, Inc. would actually improve the efficiency, quality of relations and communication in teams and between teams, both for team members who received direct training and for teams as a whole where the manager received training.

The results - an overview

The results showed statistically significant changes on 31 of 33 quantitative goals that included:

  • Skills to perform the tasks,
  • The quality of interpersonal interactions, and
  • Efficiency and motivation of individuals.

The leaders reported that conversations and meetings were significantly more effective. A mathematical model calculation based on the collected responses indicated an expected payback time to the company on 2-10 months for all expenses related to training, including managers' time, as well as an experience that the overall efficiency of executives increased by up to 80% and for no managers less than 10%.

Concrete results of CC Training

qualitative The results showed that the leaders appreciated the effect of CC training on their ability to communicate clearly, making requests that solve problems, understanding where others come from speaking openly and directly, mediating in conflict between team members and that facilitate effective meetings.

Confidence, commitment and other work culture factors were reported as improved.

In particular, the study found that:

  • 100% of participants reported improvements in their and others' effectiveness.
  • An estimated reduction in time to deal with problems of 67-90%, with time for actual problem solving estimated reduced by 10-33%.
  • Total efficiency increased up to 80%, and not below 10%.
  • A reduction in the number of meetings needed to resolve a problem was estimated 50-80%. Employees' time spent in meetings was estimated to be half.

Overall, the participants reported:

  • A reduction in software user errors,
  • A reduction in outsourced production costs
  • A faster cycle of developing new products
  • Faster resolution of problems with fewer people
  • Greater trust where cultural diversity could be a problem
  • Increased security in taking risks
  • Greater job satisfaction
  • Greater trust, clarity, adaptability and accountability (with durable decisions)
  • And a change from the fact that some issues are never addressed to find a solution.

Data collection method

Quantitative data were collected prior to the course, midway and after completion of training. They measured the leaders' perception of the working environment, the quality of interpersonal interactions and the effectiveness of communication.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the leaders seven months after the end of the program to obtain qualitative information about the long-term results of the education, as the managers observed.

The consequences of the study

Collaborative Communication (CC) is i.a. based on the notion that much of what we have learned about how to think and interact with others is rooted in a paradigm characterized by control, albeit subtly. In this paradigm, people are pressured to adapt to conditions that are not entirely their own choice, and those individuals who appear to have other agendas will be perceived as adversaries. Working in this paradigm can often lead to vigilance, to people acting across each other, to subtle alienation and reduced individual and collective well-being. Yet the control paradigm is the norm, and it is almost invisible. People are usually not aware of how this practice contributes to unwanted results.
CC is a coherent system to understand and relate to people rooted in collaboration. CC's concepts and practices create a favorable climate for people who experience each other as Allies, and to work effectively together. These strategies promote synergy, openness, trust, attachment, full commitment and well-being. CC is based on general principles of how people work, derived from modern thinking in psychology and social sciences. Due to the breadth and depth of this foundation, CC can be used to improve many kinds of relationships.


The success of any company depends on people working together to perform tasks that support the organization in achieving its purpose. As demonstrated in this study, there will be greater likelihood that it occurs when the quality of the relationships and the communication between the people involved are high and the individual individuals thrive.
People who work together effectively can get the right tasks done, with greater efficiency and higher quality. Using resources to improve these fundamental aspects of the company has potential for very big gains.

See the full report on http://collaborative-communication.org/html/CC_report12.htm


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