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Stop commanding and start communicating: 6 benefits of collaborative leadership

Collaborative leadership emphasizes teamwork, communication, and collective decision-making.

The success of a business depends heavily on its people, including everyone from entry-level employees to those that are the top executives. Everyone plays a role, and therefore it makes sense that collaboration is required. In order for teamwork to be effective, leaders should stop commanding and start collaborating more through collaborative leadership.

In general, collaborative leadership emphasizes teamwork, communication, and collective decision-making. Bosses who use this leadership style welcome and appreciate others’ input in the decision-making process and they seek out diverse perspectives and ideas to generate the best outcomes for any situation. Collaborative leaders make an effort to prioritize relationship forming, trust building, and open communication, and these values extend to other groups such as customers, shareholders, and vendors.

Characteristics and Benefits of Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative leadership has many beneficial characteristics, including the following:

  • Improved Decision Making: Collaborative leaders get all team members involved in the decision-making process, therefore gaining different perspectives and suggestions as to procedures that can help their businesses meet their goals more effectively.
  • Improved Employee Engagement: Employees at all levels typically appreciate when their input is valued and therefore are more inclined to do their best work if they are listened to and involved when making decisions for the business. A report from Zippia also shows that companies can reduce employee turnover rates by 50% by promoting communication and collaboration.
  • Empowerment: Leaders who allow their team members the opportunity to be involved in the collaboration can give employees a sense of empowerment, which allows them to take more ownership of their work.
  • Trust and Respect: Collaborative leadership also fosters senses of trust and respect, as employees feel that their opinions have value and are worth sharing without the fear of judgment.
  • Connection: We live in a highly digital world now and much of the human connection we used to have at work has been lost. Collaborative leadership can bring this connection back to work teams and give jobs a human element again.
  • Flexibility: Many business leaders are thought of as rigid, but engaging in collaborative leadership can show that leaders are willing to step out of their comfort zones and adapt to changing circumstances.

Types of Collaborative Leadership

There are various types of collaborative leadership, each of which has its own focus. Some of the most popular types include:

  • Transformational Leadership: Transformational leadership involves motivating team members to work toward a shared vision of success. Inspiring team members can lead to greater engagement and commitment from team members.
  • Participative Leadership: Leaders who engage in participative leadership allow all team members to hold some sort of power over business decisions, meaning they each have responsibility for the ultimate success of the business.
  • Consensus-Based Leadership: Similar to participative leadership, consensus-based leadership involves seeking opinions and input from every team member prior to making a final decision. This process can take time but is typically worth it in the end.
  • Servant Leadership: Servant leadership involves placing a lot of focus on the needs of all team members and finding ways to give them more power. This can ultimately lead to more trust and respect within an organization.
  • Distributed Leadership: In the distributed leadership model, leaders actually share leadership responsibilities with other team members instead of acting as the sole leader. This fosters creativity and allows team members to take responsibility for larger decisions.
  • Adaptive Leadership: Adaptive leadership requires leaders to be flexible and adapt to any changes in any given situation. Any leader following this model must be able to remain calm and keep an open mind when his or her team is looking to overcome any unforeseen obstacles.

Of course, the best collaborative leadership style for a business will depend on its specific objectives and the needs of its employees, but any of them can provide great benefits for an organization.

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Kimberly Hurley
Kimberly Hurley
Kimberly Hurley is a contributing writer and investigative journalist for CBT News, with over a decade of experience specializing in automotive, healthcare, and manufacturing. She enjoys working with industry professionals throughout the world to develop engaging, and accurate content.

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