Even with the best and most skilled managers, organizations must be able to tap into the varied skills and wider perspectives of other employees. So it is essential that leaders know how to collaborate and develop effective partnerships with others. It is one of the elements that makes a manager a true leader. Collaboration is the vehicle for sharing responsibility and combining knowledge, creativity, and experience of others. Through extensive research and observation, it has been found that the ability to collaborate is essential in an organization's Leadership Development.
Effective leaders know how to collaborate when it isn't easy. The benefits of doing so can be significant. Leaders who believe in the power of collaboration can produce extraordinary results, while maintaining a healthy team environment. Fundamentally, collaboration starts with the leader because they must be willing to let go of some control. However, time demands and urgency can be a major stumbling block in opening up collaborative channels. Andrew Carnegie said: "No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it."
One of the most important things a leader needs to be able to do to collaborate with his/her team members is create a culture where members value and listen to alternative views and seek out win-win objectives. This can be accomplished by clearly identifying common needs and objectives; and certainly should occur on multiple occasions over time.
A leader can also foster collaboration by encouraging active involvement and the free exchange of information. The leader, also, must set the tone by keeping an open mind to different ideas. Furthermore, when the team members engage in collaborative activities, it is essential for the leader to validate and reinforce the collaboration in order to sustain the behavior.
Carrie is passionate about helping businesses succeed; especially small business. Having run her own business since 2000 she knows what she is talking about.