As a leader it can be easy to feel as though you are on an island. Whether it is making decisions or reaching chapter goals, you shouldn’t have to go it alone. The best leaders utilize the people around them to make the group better. Collaborative leadership occurs when leaders build relationships and share knowledge and responsibility with others. Here are five ways you can become a collaborative leader.
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. Self-awareness is a major key to leadership success. By knowing your own strengths and weaknesses you can ask for help in the areas that you need it the most. You can increase your own self-awareness by checking out the free assessments available on REAL Leadership Online.
- Brainstorm solutions. Rather than provide your team and chapter with a solution, engage them in the problem-solving process. There is power in numbers and ideas. Your members will feel invested and your issue may be solved more creatively.
- Listen. Spend time with your membership and listen to their ideas and perspectives. A collaborative environment gives your chapter a voice. Your members will respect and appreciate your willingness to hear them out.
- Develop future leaders. You’ve likely learned a lot during your tenure as a chapter leader and there are probably lots of members in your chapter who could benefit from your knowledge. Keeping important information to yourself isn’t going to help your chapter grow. Share information and delegate to emerging leaders when possible to help them gain the experience they will need in the future.
- Ask questions. Assumptions never did anyone any good, leaders included. Asking questions opens a dialogue for idea sharing and collaboration. Questions close gaps in communication and engage your members in meaningful conversations.
Still not sure how you can best collaborate with your team? Click here to take short assessment that identifies your personal collaboration style.