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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Relational Coordination (RC)?

Relational Coordination is a mutually reinforcing process of communicating and relating for the purpose of task integration.

Relational Coordination:
• Drives quality, efficiency, satisfaction, and engagement
• Is enabled by effective management practices
• Matters most for work that is complex, uncertain, and time constrained

How is Relational Coordination Measured?

Relational Coordination is measured using the RC Survey. The RC Survey is a proprietary instrument that assesses the quality of communication and relationship behaviors integral to building cultures of teamwork that support healthy, learning organizations.

What are the 7 dimensions, and what do they mean?

1. Frequent Communication: The extent to which communication from other workgroups is seen as sufficiently frequent.

2. Timely Communication: The extent to which communication from other workgroups is seen as on time, received when needed.

3. Accurate Communication: The extent to which communication from other workgroups is seen as accurate.

4. Problem-Solving Communication: When problems arise, the extent to which other workgroups are seen as seeking solutions more so than placing blame.

5. Shared Goals: The extent to which other workgroups are seen as having shared goals for the work process.

6. Shared Knowledge: The extent to which other workgroups are seen as understanding the role of others in the work process.

7. Mutual Respect: The extent to which other workgroups are seen as valuing and respecting the role of others in the work process.

What does the RC survey consist of, and can it be modified for our organization?

The RC Survey is a flexible web-based survey tool comprised at its core of 7 short questions customized to focus on a specific work process and the key workgroups who have to coordinate to get work done. The RC Survey is a network measure that diagnoses the quality of team performance coordination necessary to realize quality and efficiency and engagement and satisfaction outcomes. The RC Survey captures the perspective of
clients, team members, managers, and leaders – stakeholders invested in the performance outcomes of an organization. In addition, the web-based survey tool accommodates inclusion of up to 50 additional custom questions in a variety of question formats.

RC Survey engagements are always customized to meet an organization’s measurement, change management, and workforce development needs.

Why do we need the RC survey, couldn’t we just make up our own?

The RC Survey is a short, validated diagnostic supported by nearly two decades of published research. The RC Survey enhances the effectiveness of improvement initiatives and enables teams to track and monitor team coordination over time. It is fully supported with underlying analytics, clear reporting, and results consultation to facilitate a positive experience.

The RC Survey is a proprietary instrument. Use requires permission from RCA.

What do we do with our results once we get them?

RCA recommends the following steps to its clients when feeding back results:

  • Take stock.
  • Engage in open, reflective dialogue to identify and uncover behavioral drivers of ineffective coordination.
  • Use RC results as a springboard for action.
  • Leverage a skilled Facilitator/Coach(internal ore external) to support intervention design, planning, execution, and monitoring.
  • Practice working on the new skills, behaviors, protocols, and processes that enhance delivery of the work process and support outcomes of interest.
  • Re-measure, monitor progress, and adapt interventions as needed.

How will Relational Coordination help strengthen our organization?

RC empowers and engages teams to improve organizational performance. Through use of the RC Survey, organizations are able to diagnose critical communication and relationship patterns that underlie team performance. This allows organizations to structure and build working relationships that enable continuous improvement and supports ongoing development through progress monitoring.


For a PDF version of Frequently Asked Questions, please click here.