How to Develop These 8 Leadership Collaboration Skills
It takes a great entrepreneur with vision to start a business, but it requires strong leadership collaboration skills and a collaboration of many people to make it a success. And belive me Neil Patel would know about leadership collaboration skills.
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.
Related post: Leadership Characteristics that Improve Influence
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.
If you don’t mind, let me ask you the importance of collaboration in your business team? We would love to hear an example of it. As a favor, please share it below. It would be greatly appreciated by us and our readers.
Let me illustrate a point about difficulties with collaboration with this story.
Once upon a time a scorpion looked around at the mountain where he lived and decided that he wanted a change. So he set out on a journey through the forests and hills. He climbed over rocks and under vines and kept going until he reached a river.
The river was wide and swift, and the scorpion stopped to reconsider the situation. He couldn’t see any way across. So he ran upriver and then checked downriver, all the while thinking that he might have to turn back.
Suddenly, he saw a frog sitting in the rushes by the bank of the stream on the other side of the river. He decided to ask the frog for help getting across the stream.
“Hellooo Mr. Frog!” called the scorpion across the water, “Would you be so kind as to give me a ride on your back across the river?”
“Well now, Mr. Scorpion! How do I know that if I try to help you, you wont try to kill me?” asked the frog hesitantly.
“Because,” the scorpion replied, “If I try to kill you, then I would die too, for you see I cannot swim!”
Now this seemed to make sense to the frog. But he asked. “What about when I get close to the bank? You could still try to kill me and get back to the shore!”
“This is true,” agreed the scorpion, “But then I wouldn’t be able to get to the other side of the river!”
“Alright then…how do I know you wont just wait till we get to the other side and THEN kill me?” said the frog.
“Ahh…,” crooned the scorpion, “Because you see, once you’ve taken me to the other side of this river, I will be so grateful for your help, that it would hardly be fair to reward you with death, now would it?!”
So the frog agreed to take the scorpion across the river. He swam over to the bank and settled himself near the mud to pick up his passenger. The scorpion crawled onto the frog’s back, his sharp claws prickling into the frog’s soft hide, and the frog slid into the river. The muddy water swirled around them, but the frog stayed near the surface so the scorpion would not drown. He kicked strongly through the first half of the stream, his flippers paddling wildly against the current.
Halfway across the river, the frog suddenly felt a sharp sting in his back and, out of the corner of his eye, saw the scorpion remove his stinger from the frog’s back. A deadening numbness began to creep into his limbs.
“You fool!” croaked the frog, “Now we shall both die! Why on earth did you do that?”
The scorpion shrugged, and did a little jig on the drownings frog’s back.
“I could not help myself. It is my nature.”
Then they both sank into the muddy waters of the swiftly flowing river…
Well, I guess scorpions are going to be scorpions.
And people are always going to act according to human nature.
We can try to fight it and resist it, but at the end of the day, people are going to be people.
So here it is … it all starts with how to be the leader in your own life, but then extends to learning the following skills 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 thing. 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 a 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 company departments are able to master them alone.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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