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Home » Articles » Fundamental practices of collaborative leadership

Fundamental practices of collaborative leadership

Leaders play a vital part in establishing and expressing new strategic directions. They are also in charge of uniting and strengthening relationships between fellow employees.

Consistent training in leadership skills is essential for keeping leaders on track. Standing out from the crowd is the only way to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive and disruptive environment.

Here’s how you can practice collaborative leadership in the workplace.

What is collaborative leadership?

Collaborative leadership is a corporate-level strategy in which each department’s manager works together with the employees to achieve a common goal. Collaborative leaders look for different points of view from employees to develop a strategy or resolve issues.

Collaborative leadership ensures that workflows and concepts are aligned without ambiguity. The result is that employees are much more motivated and willing to take responsibility for their work.

What is collaborative leadership?

Why is collaborative leadership important?

Organizations nowadays must adapt quickly to the changing business environment. A more innovative and team-based approach is one of the most effective strategies to make your team efficient. 

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Collaborative leadership fosters collaboration within teams. Leaders adopt an inclusive approach to the workplace, encouraging participation and contribution from all team members. This type of leadership encourages employees to approach their work in the same way. 

Employee collaboration entails sharing ideas and abilities. When they collaborate with one another instead of competing, productivity improves, and they feel more connected to the business.

Impact of collaborative leadership in the workplace

Working in silos has a negative influence on workflow and consequently on the customer experience. On the other hand, teams that share insights come up with more profitable solutions.

The following will occur in companies with an established collaborative leadership:

Creates a more inclusive environment

Natural barriers to diversity decrease because of the advancements in technology. There are fewer linguistic, cultural, and ethnic barriers to organizations today than ever before.

This is something that a collaborative leadership style acknowledges and makes room for in the workplace. The result is a broader range of viewpoints, which opens the door to new approaches. Then everyone, in any location can contribute to the ongoing project.

Establishes connections with others

Collaborative leaders rely primarily on the genuine relationships between their members. When a manager has this leadership style, team members are more likely to work together. It results in new opportunities to connect on a personal level.

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When relationships are formed, the team becomes more dependable. Collaborative teams can lead to better services, products, and procedures.

Boosts the group’s enthusiasm

For most employees, the ability to share knowledge, collaborate on projects, and come up with solutions as a team makes a workplace more appealing. 

As a result of everyone working together for the common good, trust naturally develops. As the team’s trust grows, so does its morale, which spurs even more collaboration.

Improves efficiency to complete a project

Because of the collaborative leadership approach, every team member can concentrate on their strengths. It’s good for everyone to bring their strengths to the table for every endeavor.

As a result, job quality improves since employees are more motivated. Review and revision time is also reduced because of higher quality work. 

Impact of collaborative leadership in the workplace

Characteristics of collaborative leadership

Overcoming barriers and fostering relationships in the workplace so everyone can perform better are the ultimate goals of collaborative leadership. 

Collaborative leaders take the lead in building mutual trust and open communication with their coworkers. For this reason, character is essential for a leader. Here are the vital qualities of a collaborative leader:

Excellent communicator

Good collaborative leadership requires excellent communication. A good leader knows how to get his point across effectively. They have good public speaking skills and communicate well to complete tasks. 

This type of leader can pick words and expressions appropriate for any situation and encourage others to express themselves.


Transparency can be seen when organizations communicate6 essential information to employees in a straightforward manner.

Good leaders communicate business objectives to personnel and listen to their suggestions on achieving and surpassing them. 

Active listener

When it comes to leadership, being able to actively listen is a huge asset. Collaborative leaders exhibit attentiveness and genuineness when communicating with co-workers and clients.

Rather than interrupting or dismissing others’ opinions, they listen attentively and acknowledge what’s being said. It’s not simple to learn how to appreciate other people’s opinions; it takes self-awareness and humility.

Contextually intelligent

Contextual intelligence is the use of knowledge in real-world situations. This trait is most directly linked to experiences. When it comes to actual performance, leaders with contextual intelligence have the most accurate predictor of success.

Leadership styles that include employees from other departments are more likely to have contextual intelligence.

Applies horizontal management

Collaborative leadership that applies horizontal or flat management lets employees make decisions without requiring the consent of upper management.

The ability to lead a horizontal team requires excellent interpersonal skills. This is the sign of a leader who is good at working with others.

Optimistic for the future

An optimistic view of the future sees how human capabilities are a tool for organizational development. Rather than sinking into the problems, the collaborative leader maintains a positive outlook. 

They believe in what they do because they see the potentials and solutions in every challenging situation. An inspiring collaborative leader can help the organization move toward its goals.

Characteristics of collaborative leadership

How do you practice collaborative leadership?

The first step in being a truly collaborative leader is to recognize the value of collaboration. There are many practices out there, but here are some important things you must consider.

Take a high level of personal responsibility

Employees may find it challenging to grow if they lack the freedom and confidence to take risks. 

Collaborative leaders should be aware of this and work to create an environment where their employees would have the courage to take risks. Set examples for employees to grow professionally and become more independent.

Engage in self-improvement activities

Professional development is the process of actively working to enhance one’s abilities and knowledge. Taking responsibility for your growth can boost your self-esteem and self-confidence. 

Also, value the cohesiveness of the team and the uniqueness of each member. Diversity in the workplace increases morale and productivity.

Focus on the objectives

People tend to give up on projects whose value they don’t see. Creating a clear strategic plan of action is the first step to accomplishing your objectives. It can assist you in organizing better and enhancing your drive to succeed. 

Additionally, a tool to track your progress is helpful to remind you of the importance of continuing your professional development.

Clearly state your goals 

Professionals will struggle to collaborate if they don’t have a common goal. They’ll also lack the motivation to push boundaries.

It is the responsibility of an organization’s leaders to provide a vision for how collaboration will be integrated into its culture.

Build a bridge of trust

It’s impossible to have successful collaborative leadership without trust. First and foremost, a leader must take the initiative. 

People who are trusted reciprocate the favor, which means trust is a two-way process. Company heads must educate and inspire their leaders to place their faith in their workforce.

Reduce the impact of tense situations

Even in the workplace, there will be hard times and toxic situations. Learning to self-manage and control emotions can develop strong bridges that define a reliable connection even during difficult times. 

Inspire strategic thinking, creativity, and initiative

A leader must constantly look ahead. If you want to know where your company is headed, think about where you are now.

Making strategic company decisions necessitates team leaders taking into account both internal and external factors, such as product roadmaps and workforce requirements.

Maintain a flexible perspective

Getting new ideas on business is crucial since it helps you get closer to the objective. This is especially true for startup companies, whose objectives are constantly shifting, making it challenging to stick to a strict plan.

However, leadership often means taking calculated risks, but you must be ready to defend your choices. If you make rash decisions, your team will notice and likely follow your example.

Conduct efficient meetings

Meetings provide individuals a sense of belonging, trust, and importance for team members. The collaborative leadership approach gives employees a chance to contribute to the organizations’ success. 

Work on your team’s purpose and presence

Executive presence is made up of various other characteristics that influence how others perceive you at work. Consider the influence and the impact of your behavior on colleagues and supervisors. 

You should affect others positively, in a way that makes them equally confident about their work. 

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