4. Leadership and effective collaboration
Leadership styles are moving from the more traditional top-down hierarchical approach to being more collaborative. In its simplest form, collaborative leadership is an approach where managers work together with their staff and collaborate with other teams and departments. Information is shared, everyone’s perspective is considered, and everyone takes responsibility for the whole. Collaborative leadership is unlike the traditional top-down approach to leadership in which management controls the flow of information and determines the course of action the team must take.
The rise of new technologies has led to breaking down physical and metaphorical barriers in the workplace. Teams can easily collaborate on a project internally or across departments thanks to collaboration tools. This ease of collaboration has led to leaders’ need today to become more of team players than just coaches standing on the side-lines. No single person can lead an organisation to success. It takes a team effort. More importantly, it takes a collaborative leader who appreciates team members’ skills and talents. Employee disengagement is one of the most significant challenges leaders face. And yet, the solution is simple – collaborative leadership.
One facet of collaborative leadership is that you must be a part of the team, not above the team. This approach results in your employees trusting you more. This also increases employee engagement and reduces potential power struggles in your organisation, thanks to the feeling of having a shared purpose. When a leader values his subordinates and encourages diversity, employee satisfaction rates improve.
When moving to a new position or becoming a part of an interdisciplinary team, leadership roles and mission statements are often well-established. It can be an anxiety-provoking experience when teams do not demonstrate these characteristics. Perhaps the most important step is to achieve a culture of trust within the team which may require time (e.g., perhaps other staff must understand your strengths, skills/knowledge, and how your personality fits with the team). After an effective culture of trust is established, using this framework may help to identify additional barriers.
If barriers are preventing a culture of trust from being established (i.e., leadership challenges, lack of systems to promote interdisciplinary practice), addressing these steps with your team leader or management may be beneficial to improve worker experience.
Some teams may believe they have mastered each of these competencies, but we can always continue to improve our practices (i.e., assess quality and outcomes through feedback). One area of improvement for many teams may include equal team member contribution. Teamwork goes beyond sharing goals or progress; teamwork is about achieving a shared vision and having individuals who are competent, skilled, and dream to achieve more together.
Source: What Is Collaborative Leadership and Why Is It Important