Collaborative Leadership and 7 Other Traits Strong Leaders Have
The biggest part of being a collaborative leader is fostering a work environment where team members want to follow you. Becoming a collaborative leader comes naturally to some people, but cultivating a leadership style that drives the best business results usually takes time and intentional leadership development efforts.
5 MINUTE READ
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November 19, 2018

The biggest part of being a collaborative leader is fostering a work environment where team members want to follow you. Becoming a collaborative leader comes naturally to some people, but cultivating a leadership style that drives the best business results usually takes time and intentional leadership development efforts.

What does collaborative leadership look like? How do the best team leaders create an atmosphere of successful collaboration? Today, we will dive into the traits of great leaders and the leadership skills they possess.

1. Collaborative Decision-Making Styles

Good leaders don't act like dictators and employ a command-and-control leadership style. They hire the right people and leverage their collective skills and knowledge to make the best business decisions.

They know that no one likes working for a leader that isn't interested in hearing their new ideas and perspective. Great leaders know how to engage their team members to the fullest so they can do their best work and are committed to the long-term vision and mission.

A collaborative leader realises it's not their job to make the decision and then relay it to their team. Instead, the wise leader promotes transparent decision-making and helps the team consider the issue and focus their efforts to decide what to do in a collaborative environment.

2. Great Problem-Solving Skills

The most collaborative leaders don't shy away from problems. They step up and handle the issue with confidence. They are able to assess what went wrong and create a collaborative effort to resolve business problems.

Good leaders are also able to own up to their mistakes when they are part of the problem. They don't pass blame, but instead apologize and enlist team members in helping to solve the problems rather than trying to cover it up. This also sets a positive example where team members can comfortable owning their mistakes and proactively working together to solve them.

For example, imagine someone in a leadership role makes a costly budget error and now one of two programs will have to be removed for the year. The best leaders will own the mistake, apologize and work with their team to find a speedy resolution.

3. Transferable Skills

Smart leaders know that no single person on any team is irreplaceable. The show has to go on if the leader isn't there. They teach and coach their teams so they have the right skills and knowledge to run the business effectively.

Examples of transferable skills could include things like:

  • Financial management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Strategic planning
  • Performance management
  • Project management

4. Openness to New Ideas

Strong leaders are usually natural innovators who are open to new ideas. There's no power struggle or need for the best ideas to always to be their own.

Collaborative leaders are typically open to a moderate level of risk when it comes to implementing new ideas. They don't take failure that personally because it's a natural part of the process of finding the best solutions and creating the best products and services.

5. Commitment to Accountability

The best plans and ideas are useless without proper execution. Smart leaders engage their group members and share information about each project in a transparent environment.

Many collaborative leaders bring team members together with software that keeps everyone on the same page and measures performance indicators. For example, Samewave is social performance management software that allows team members to create tasks and targets, communicate in chat streams and store and upload files.

Samewave also fosters accountability towards task and goal completion in a transparent work environment with Promise-Based Management and Social Discipline. Our software is free, so introduce it to your team today to start creating a more collaborative process.

6. Sharing Credit With the Whole Team

The best leaders don't have to be in the spotlight all of the time. In fact, they enjoy seeing their team members shine and earn credit for the hard work they do on a regular basis.

Collaborative leaders will speak up and make sure their high performers receive public praise and recognition when they earn it. This could be through a company- or department-wide email, an award, gift cards, promotions, pay raises or additional company benefits and perks, like extra days off or flex-time work options.

7. Commitment to Professional Development

Smart leaders have a commitment to professional development that is two-fold.

First, they are committed to their own leadership development and becoming the best leader they can be in the long run. They invest in the time to learn new skills and advance their leadership knowledge with books, conferences, training events and education.

Second, collaborative leaders also recognise how important it is to develop their team members and support them in developing their own leadership traits. They invest in the time and make sure there is a budget for meaningful ongoing education opportunities for the entire team.

8. Conflict Management Skills

Great leaders realise conflict isn't always negative. Conflict can be constructive, and collaborative leaders are eager to help manage conflict between colleagues and direct reports.

What does good conflict management look like? Collaborative leaders help team members take emotion out of the issue, get the people involved in the conflict to see each other's perspective and keep the group focused on a positive outcome.

They stay away from blaming or focusing on faults. They are focused on the end goal — a collaborative solution where everyone wins.

Foster a Collaborative Culture Today

Being a collaborative leader is a big job that requires dedication, commitment to positive outcomes, robust communication and patience.

Develop your leadership skills and invest in each team member to drive overall maximum performance. Lead the process and help your teams do their best work by fostering accountability towards goals and tasks. Be open to new ideas, make sure your team members feel appreciated and recognised for their daily efforts. Practice these main principles and you'll become the type of collaborative leader others are eager to follow.

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