Collaborative leadership can be developed among working partners so that they share the ability to control and lead together without any issues. There are many public and private sectors that merge together to build a more reliable infrastructure. Many organisations rely greatly on their partners to deliver services on their behalf. They use each others skills, abilities and services to benefit each other in terms of effective service to joint customers.

Sometimes it is difficult to build up collaborative leaderships as opinions and thoughts always differ, but certain steps can be taken to help develop collaborative leadership.

  • Collaborative leadership should be built with the view of a long-term relationship with each other. They should find common purpose, goals and targets to accomplish. But in the public sector this long-term perspective is sometimes discouraged as every election that takes place could influence the collaborative leadership.
  • It should be kept in mind that when there is more than one individual, conflicts occur. So, keep prepared for the conflicts that can arise during a collaborative leadership. Build a mutual safety net and try to discuss those conflicts that can affect the long-term progress. Sometimes, in order to acquire a high degree of collaboration you have to rule out organisations that cannot be beneficial for you in the long run and will hinder your progress.
  • In order to build a good collaborative partnership, build human connections so that if anything goes wrong the partnership is not affected. Recognise that imposing financial penalties on your partner can be very harmful for the collaborative partnership as it reduces the willingness to collaborate.
  • To strengthen the collaborative leadership, one must develop interpersonal leadership skills. The key elements of this are; empathy, patience, tenacity, confronting difficult conversations and coalition building.
  • Try to focus on what is good for you in a collaborative partnership, whether it is beneficial for you in the long run in terms of your career.

Being a great collaborative leader is a good thing for your career nowadays. It helps you to understand the common purpose of you and your partner; it enables you to gain skills and abilities that benefit you in the long-run; it is beneficial if you are prepared to handle conflicts when they arise among you and your collaborative partnership; it is a learning process that enables you to work in an environment where besides your organisation there is another organisation and both are responsible in the key decision-making process in a collaborative manner; and it helps you to build up the patience needed for the collaborative process.

Collaborative leadership is not about a single individual or organisation. It involves leadership of more than one individual or organisation and both work hand in hand to accomplish the leadership roles. So, build up relationships within the collaborative partnership to avoid conflicts and other issues. And be very precise and clear about what you have in the whole process: what you have gained or are gaining, what have you lost, and whether the gains are more than the losses or not.

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