The best way to lead can change from situation to situation, but there are some general leadership approaches that tend to work better than others in most situations. Although some styles may be more effective in certain situations than others, all of them fall under the umbrella of collaborative leadership because they focus on collaboration and cooperation with those you are leading rather than the authority of your position or power over those you lead. To learn more about how you can implement collaborative leadership on your own team, keep reading and learn more about these nine different styles of collaborative leadership below!
What is collaborative leadership?
The collaborative leadership style is an organizational and managerial approach that promotes team-building and shared decision-making, with the goal of creating an environment where workers collaborate as peers. A collaborative leadership style encourages employees to work collaboratively with one another in order to achieve common goals. This type of leadership style may be best suited for organizations that employ virtual teams or those that work remotely.
A leadership style is defined as an approach to leadership that governs how an individual or group within an organization makes decisions and provides direction. A collaborative leadership style promotes team collaboration, decision-making, and problem-solving. It is often considered ideal for managing remote teams or work groups that are scattered around geographically.
The collaborative style of leadership can be characterized as involving an open, trusting environment in which employees feel they have input and influence on how decisions are made. Many elements within a collaborative organization foster communication and positive interactions among staff. Successful leaders of organizations that operate using these principles often reward teamwork, promote trust and encourage employees to build solid relationships with their colleagues. These leaders also strive for consensus when making decisions, providing ample time for those decisions and helping set expectations for results throughout all levels of an organization or group.
Here, are the best 9 Collaborative Leadership Styles:
1. Empowered team members
Collaborative leadership focuses on developing your team members and equipping them with the skills they need to lead themselves. This helps establish an environment that is not just focused on the needs of the individual, but one where the team as a whole is empowered and self-managed. It’s important for leaders to equip their teams with skills such as interpersonal communication and transparency management style. When this happens, you’ll notice that there is increased trust among the group.
When you make an effort to develop your team members and equip them with skills that allow them to lead themselves, there are many benefits for you and your business. Skills such as interpersonal communication, transparency management style, and decision-making all make up part of effective mentoring techniques. This will help establish a collaborative leadership environment.
2. Build Emotional Intelligence
Collaborative leadership has one of the most positive effects on workplace environments. One of the most important parts of collaborative leadership is creating an environment where everyone feels heard. This can be accomplished through team-building activities and by giving people space to have their voices heard. Take it from one of the most successful collaborative leaders, Steve Jobs: The only way for Apple to become more innovative was if I became less centralized, which meant empowering other people.
Emotional intelligence is defined by Mayer and Salovey in their paper Emotional Intelligence as the ability to monitor one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions, discriminate among them, and use this information to guide one’s thinking and actions. Emotional intelligence is central in collaborative leadership.
3. Communicate Openly
A self-managed team needs an effective leader. In order for your team to work well and be collaborative, it’s important that you communicate openly with them. Let them know what’s going on, how they can help, and what their responsibilities are. If you don’t speak up and tell them what they need to do, then they might not understand what’s expected of them and it could cause problems in the future.
Another important aspect of communicating with your team is honesty. Be honest with them, but also be kind. You need to maintain their trust so that they’re willing and able to do what you ask of them when you ask it. Make sure they know that they can come to you at any time if they need advice or help and make sure you follow through on your promises and commitments.
4. Asking Questions Is Important
The collaborative work environment and team-building quotes can both be important for getting your team on the same page. Sometimes asking questions can help get people on the same page and create an effective team leader. With remote work systems, it’s important to come up with a strategy that makes sense for your company.
You can’t expect your team to get on board if you never give them that chance. Instead, you need to make sure your collaborative leadership style is designed in such a way that they feel like they are part of the team and valued as an employee. That’s why it’s important to know how collaborative leadership styles work.
5. Balance Confidence with Humility
Collaboration is not just about the company’s success, it is about how people work together. To create a collaborative environment you need to be confident in yourself and your skills, but also humble enough to listen and learn from others. You also need an open mind with an ‘everything will be the ok attitude.
A collaborative workspace can help encourage collaboration by providing space that is comfortable and inviting for all types of workers, including introverts. With multiple areas to collaborate such as conference rooms, cubicles, lounges, and coffee areas; employees are able to choose the setting they are most productive in while still having access to other spaces when they need them.
6. Collaboration skills
Collaboration is key when it comes to teamwork. As such, it’s important to foster an environment of collaboration and cooperation in the office. To do this, you need collaborative workspaces that encourage communication and camaraderie between employees.
Perhaps more importantly, though, you need collaborative leadership skills. When you set aside your own ego and focus on others, it sends a powerful message that teamwork and collaboration are valued in your office culture.
This type of open and inclusive leadership creates an environment where people feel empowered to express their ideas and take risks, even when those risks involve stepping outside of their comfort zone. When employees know they’ll be supported rather than ridiculed for an idea that didn’t work out, they’re more willing to push themselves.
7. Maintain Your Sanity (And Avoid Burnout)
It is easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day of running your business and lose sight of your own well-being. Burnout is real, but with proactive efforts, you can avoid it. Below are 5 ways you can maintain your sanity and avoid burnout.
- Get enough sleep
- Keep an even keel
- Give yourself time off from work or tasks
- Practice self-care
- Eat healthily and exercise
8. Focus on What Your Team Can Do, Not What They Can’t
It’s important that the team feels like they are an equal part of the process and not just following orders. For that reason, it’s critical that everyone on the team has input. There is no hierarchy in collaborative leadership so it’s important to be open to hearing new ideas and taking risks.
Communication is key when working in teams so make sure each person knows their role, purpose, and responsibilities as well as what they need from others in order for them to be successful.
If you have an idea of what you’re looking for when it comes to selecting your team, take that into consideration before setting out. Finding people who are passionate about what you do will increase your chances for success.
9. Collaboration Takes Practice & Patience
Collaboration is not always easy, but it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. As you work with others, try to be flexible and open-minded. It’s okay if your ideas don’t always get adopted; the point is for everyone in the group to feel like their input is valued. In order for collaboration between team members to be successful, it requires practice and patience on both sides of the equation.
If you want your collaboration efforts to be effective, it’s important that everyone on your team feels comfortable sharing their thoughts. When they feel like they have an opportunity to speak freely and don’t feel judged for expressing themselves, they’re more likely to contribute positively. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be disagreements among teammates; in fact, differing viewpoints can often lead to innovative solutions.
Collaborative leadership has the potential to create an environment where people are valued, respected, and engaged in decision-making. It’s up to you as the leader of your team (or even just a team member) to demonstrate these qualities by practicing collaborative leadership. I hope that you found this blog post helpful!