Firstly, this style of leadership allows for a healthy work environment. Collaboration dispels the toxic effect of an atmosphere of constant conflict. This is valuable to the happiness and morale of the people within it. The collaborative leader talks through differences of opinion with calmness and listens well to all points of view.
Leading collaboratively also enhances team performance. It does this by increasing the amount of discretionary emotional energy and personal buy-in which, in turn, produces and sustains productivity and engagement.
It also increases innovation and creative problem-solving by introducing a climate of openness, discussion and respect.
The five essential skills of collaborative leadership are:
Collaborative intention: it goes without saying that collaborative leaders are concerned with exhibiting an authentic, non-defensive, commitment to mutual success. Their aim is not one of self-promotion, but of collectively delivering on the organisation’s vision.
Truthfulness: a commitment to tell thy truth and listen to the truth. The intention to create a safe climate for openness and difficult conversations.
Self-accountability: collaborative leaders find their own solutions to a problem rather than seek out someone to blame. They take responsibility for the consequences of their choices and actions and expect their team to do the same. Albeit that they also hold the team mutually accountable for shared goals.
Self-awareness and other awareness: collaborative leaders have a deep self-awareness and seeks to understand others as well as the context or situation.
Problem-solving and negotiating: collaborative leaders avoid fostering subtle or unconscious competition and use problem-solving methods that promote co-operation. Their focus is not on themselves, but on their people and guiding them with support, encouragement and inspiration.
By integrating all of these abilities, the collaborative leader creates an atmosphere of openness, calmness and support – whilst at the same time inspiring and challenging their people to have their eyes on the bigger picture – achieving their organisation’s vision.