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Collaborative Leadership

What is Collaborative Leadership

Collaborative leadership is a management style which prioritises the achievement of a shared goal and harnesses collective intelligence to achieve it. Collaborative leaders prioritise shared decision making and problem solving in the understanding the outcomes are stronger

Why is Collaborative Leadership Important

Collaborative leadership harnesses collective intelligence and delivers control and innovation to deliver the best outcomes, team performance and sustainability.
Team members are bound by the shared belief in the achievement of a goal, This brings energy, consistency of behaviours and starts to build a shared identity and brand, building belonging and resilience within team members.
Team members are also prioritised as individuals to be as autonomous as possible in the pursuit of the shared goals. This brings innovation, proactivity and growth.

What are the characteristics of collaborative leadership

The 5 characteristics of collaborative leaders are:

  • Shared purpose/vision constantly and consistently visible and audible
  • Autonomy in pursuit of the shared purpose/vision prioritised
  • Participation from all prioritised
  • Shared decision making prioritised
  • Direct communication prioritised

How do you show Collaborative leadership

Within an environment where collaborative leadership is in play there will be:

  • High energy within team members. Energy is generated through alignment to the purpose/vision of the team.
  • High levels of individual balance. Team members manage themselves taking responsibility for their own wellbeing.
  • High levels of communication, awareness, engagement and participation. • Strong belief in the way things are done.
  • High levels of offloading/open discussion when things aren’t great.

What are the five Collaborative behaviours

For the best Collaborative participation you only need to focus on five areas:

  • Belief – Only participate in things you believe in 100%, bring maximum energy and proactivity.
  • Balance – Take responsibility and manage your own balance, allowing yourself to perform for longer.
  • Inclusivity – Value everyone and everything. Everyone wants better. Learn and build from everything around you. Include everyone where you can.
  • Structure – Without structure we can’t understand how well things are going and where we need to get better. Use Tribe365® SMART to progress all actions.
  • Honesty – offload the moment things feel off. Our brains are geared for speed of improvement. Respect each emotional response and explore it as quickly as possible for the best results. Express don’t suppress.

Collaborative Leadership vs Command and Control

The ability to employ different leadership styles is essential to leading teams to deliver results. Depending on the challenges and teams we are within we may choose to default to a more “Command and Control” style being more autocratic in behaviour. This may be needed as you have lost ability to work with teams and time is critical. No shame in that. The journey to being a leader who always prioritises group involvement and manages to facilitate that no matter what is a long hard journey. It is a worthwhile journey as you end up being able to facilitate the best results no matter what pressure you are under, however it does take a lot of reflection and belief in everyone. Remember though there is no right or wrong, there is just what was needed to get to where we got. Can we all do better? All the time… so why stress? Just keep working towards better.

What can I do to start Collaborative behaviours


Like any activity, keep it simple. You have the areas of focus above (Belief, Balance, Inclusivity, Structure, Honesty), how are you going to make sure you start displaying each behaviour? The only suggestion is understand what each one means, which can be done by navigating our content on HPTM® (High Performing Team Members – our collaborative leadership programme) and requesting any material you can’t find (team@tribe365.co) . Once you have understood and truly believe the focus is as simple as we outline, the next step is starting to think how you might start adjusting your behavioural pattern. We’d suggest focusing on gentle approaches so you don’t exhaust yourself… little by little. It takes a lot of adjustment and reflection to see improvements, we that was for us, maybe you will find it easier.


Once you have thought about how you are going to focus on the behaviours and what you are going to do. Do it!


How have you been getting on? Do this as often as you can, daily at the very least.

If you want any coaching we deliver coaching via our Tribe365 app supporting teams, individuals and organisations to create collaborative culture in their environment. This is free for one month and £4/month/team member beyond that. Sign up here

If you want free information, we have loads of the content and information on our YouTube account here and also if you want anything email us at team@tribe365.co

How can I measure Collaborative Leadership

Really it is a case of doing a little bit of a 360o with team members around the team member and finding out how much of the 5 areas of focus the individual has performed, as a reminder the areas are:

  • Belief – Do they mention the vision in every action?
  • Balance – Do they manage their conditions?
  • Inclusivity – Do they value everyone and everything?
  • Structure – Are all actions SMART?
  • Honesty – Do they offload the moment something is off?

This would be a very basic level of questionnaire, however it should give an initial idea of the areas of focus. At Tribe365 ® we have a few questionnaires around this topic and if you want a copy feel free to reach out on team@tribe365.co

Want to learn more?

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