What is collaborative leadership?
You know that important characteristics of collaborative leadership are:
___Insistence on collaborative problem-solving and decision-making.
___Maintenance of an open process.
___Leadership of a process, rather than of people.
Why practice collaborative leadership?
You know that advantages of collaborative leadership include:
___More involvement in implementation.
___Elimination of turf issues.
___Access to more and better information and ideas.
___Better opportunity for substantive results..
___Generation of new leadership.
___Community or organizational empowerment.
___Fundamental change for the better in the ways communities and organizations operate.
You recognize some disadvantages of collaborative leadership:
___It demands the ability to face conflict directly
___It may mean trying to overcome resistance to the whole idea of collaborative leadership.
___It can lead to groups taking what seems to you to be the wrong path.
___It demands that leaders subordinate their egos.
When is collaborative leadership appropriate?
You practice collaborative leadership when:
___Problems are serious and complex, and both affect and require attention from a number of individuals and groups.
___There are a number of diverse stakeholders, or stakeholders with varied interests.
___Other attempts at solutions haven't worked.
___An issue affects a whole organization or a whole community.
___Inclusiveness and empowerment are goals of the process from the beginning.
Who are real and potential collaborative leaders?
You recognize collaborative leaders as people who:
___Have community credibility.
___Relate respectfully and easily to all groups in the community.
___Have good facilitation skills.
___Can act as catalysts for the collaborative process.
___Nurture new leadership.
___Have a commitment to the collaborative, open process.
___Focus on the good of the organization, collaborative or community as a whole.
How do you practice collaborative leadership?
You lead the process:
___You help the group set norms that it can live by, and that encourage respect, participation, and trust.
___You assure that everyone gets heard.
___You encourage and model inclusiveness.
___You help people make real connections with one another.
___You mediate conflicts and disputes.
___You help the group create and use mechanisms for soliciting ideas.
___You maintain collaborative problem-solving and decision-making.
___You push the group toward effectiveness by:
___You help the group choose initial projects that are doable, in order to build confidence and demonstrate collaborative success.
___You help the group identify and obtain the necessary resources to do the work.
___You insist on and protect an open process,
___You keep the group focused on what's best for the organization, collaborative, or community as a whole, rather than on individual interests.
You recognize and use the leadership context:
___You know (or learn about) the community:
- Its history (including its history with the current issue).
- Its people and organizations and their relationships with one another.
- Its current situation.
___You understand the nature of the problem, including factors unique to the community.
___You understand potential barriers to collaboration, and how to overcome them.
___You know how open people are to change, and where you have to start in order to be successful.
___You motivate the group and keep them focused on the goals.
___You are realistic about what the group can take on at any given time.
___You are flexible in your dealings with people and ideas.
___You are inflexible in your protection of the inclusive, open, collaborative process.
___You forego the need to satisfy your ego.
___You encourage new ideas from others.
___You encourage new leadership from within the group.
___You step aside, temporarily or permanently, when appropriate.