For business owners, the first step in creating your new business is a leap of faith and hopefully a solid vision. This automatically qualifies you as a leader. But things get a bit tricky as your business grows and you start building relationships and partnerships with others.

It can be your own people or it can be suppliers or trusted associates that help at critical times - the point is, you need every person acting like a leader in their own area of specialism. And they also need to be thinking like a teammate at the same time even if the “team” is not strictly delineated. Since the start of this century, the trend towards partnerships has paved the way for a more collaborative style of leadership……

Collaborative Leadership Starts With You!

Being a collaborative leader means juggling the balance between respecting and valuing the differences of a partner or colleague, whilst smoothing out some of those differences in the interests of making the relationship work.

The leadership principles listed below will help you achieve this balance consistently. Modelling self-leadership is the most powerful way to embed a technique and it is further reinforced when you mentor or coach others.

The Habits Of Self-Leadership:

  • Practice, don’t preach.
  • Observe and listen.
  • Stay connected to your intention for change.
  • Stay with the conflict – don’t avoid it. Resolve it…help creative options open up.
  • Follow your heart-do what you love, love what you do.
  • Keep connected to THE big picture. Talking spiritual may be a step too far for some but the idea is - it’s a big universe of possibilities and serendipity has worked its magic already – make sure you keep connected.
  • Nurture your own space of reflection that supports your life journey.
  • Iterate. Iterate. Iterate. Your focus will improve as possibilities emerge.
  • Use different languages with different stakeholders.
  • If you want to change others stakeholders, you need to be open to changing yourself first.
  • And never give up!

Practical Tips for Collaborative Leaders

  • Develop in collaboration, a common agreement about the objectives and how the relationship will operate.
  • Facilitate enthusiasm – and if necessary, make this a focus to get things started.
  • When things go wrong it’s important that you have created open relationship communications to discuss and resolve difficult issues.
  • Charismatic leadership is not the only way – collaboration is more about helping all voices be heard and agreements reached before acting.
  • Yes, it takes longer but creates stronger bonds to complete the goal successfully.
  • Finally, collaboration is about sharing control. Think about the consequences of too much control and aim to lead with a light touch.

For more tips on achieving leadership across your teams, theHRhub team are ready to help. We are the ultimate online HR support service for Startups and SMEs - providing software, templates, expert advice, whitepapers and up to date news and views, straight to your mobile or tablet. Like having an HR director in your pocket but without the price tag! Find out more about us here.

 

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