Develop Your Leadership Collaboration Skills

It takes a great entrepreneur with a vision to start a business, but it requires strong leadership collaboration skills and the collaboration of many people to make it a success.

Collaboration is working together to achieve a goal. It is a recursive process where two or more people or organizations work together to realize shared goals, Note that collaboration is NOT cooperation …it is more than the intersection of common goals, but a collective determination to reach an identical objective by sharing knowledge, learning and building consensus.

Collaboration is an attribute that cuts across many businesses and business processes. We need to make it an intentional process and cultivate it into the team’s culture.

That’s where leadership comes in as a key ingredient, to drive the collaborative process to make the whole team better than the sum of the parts.

It all starts with how to be the leader in your own life, but then extends to learning the following skills she outlines for building a great collaborative team:

Build and maintain trust … trust is a key element we all need to set aside vulnerability, but it is hard to build, and easy to lose. It is not built on words but through actions and evidence. Only when it works can a team address the necessary issues to win.

Expect conflict to reach consensus … conflicts and fights are not the same things. Conflicts are normal and required factual push backs in business, whereas fights are emotional, often personal, disagreements which do not lead forward to consensus.

Embrace change … change is the only constant in business, so make it your competitive advantage. Initiate change rather than react to it, and give clear instructions to help the team understand why the change is necessary, and how it will make the situation better.

Establish a level of analysis, structure, and control … the challenge is to strike the right balance. With none, things fall into chaos, but too much can have the effect of stifling innovation and creativity.

Make decisions … in general, any decision is better than no decision. Usually, a blended approach is the best, between independent decisions, and collaborative decisions factoring in the best team input. Picking the best team members is the right starting decision.

Foster continuous communication … communication is the glue that forms the bond between leaders and teams and holds great teams together. Credibility is a required base.

Provide recognition … recognition drives motivation and human behavior, and human behavior drives results. Recognition validates people and their purpose. Intangible rewards can have an even greater impact than tangible ones, but they must be relevant.

Create learning experiences … we all have a desire to learn and grow. The best learning opportunities are experience and sharing.

In today’s fast-moving digital business age, we face an entirely new environment for innovation and collaboration. The best companies are the best collaborators.

In the new networked world, more and more business will be done through collaboration within, as well as, between businesses. This will occur for a very simple reason: the next layer of value creation — whether in technology, marketing, service or manufacturing- are becoming so complex that few companies or compary departments are able to master them alone.

Mike Schoultz writes about improving the performance of business. Bookmark his blog for stories and articles.