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Significance of Collaborative Leadership in a Digital Era

In today’s highly globalized world, the patterns to do work have changed. The top-down hierarchies are over, people prefer working in cross-functional collaboration which has broken down the traditional ways of working. Today’s workplaces are more dynamic, collaborative, and connected. Scroll down to check how collaborative leadership works.

What Is Collaborative Leadership?

The collaborative leadership style is one of the most effective management approaches in this modern age which aims to bring, leaders, managers, and staff to work together to achieve common objectives. It negates the concept of hierarchical structure and shares responsibilities among the workforce. 

Who Are Collaborative Leaders?

Collaborative leaders are exceptional. They bring diverse people together to achieve a common interest with a variety of new and different ideas. The qualities listed below will tell whether you are a collaborative leader or not;

  • Collaborative leaders are respected and trusted by all the team members.
  • They are catalysts by bringing the right people together for the right project.
  • They possess facilitation skills 
  • They deal with individual and diverse groups with ease and respect, and
  • They are committed and nurture leadership within the collaboration and people.

Why Is Collaborative Leadership Important?

Collaborative leadership is valuable and has beneficial effects on organizations. When leaders value collaboration, the organization reaches the height of success. When executives and managers contribute to the workload of employees, this increases productivity in their tasks and performance which laid to an increase in engagement. 

Collaborative Leadership appreciates new ideas and opinions of their employees. This gives space for innovation and creativity within an organization. Collaborative leadership is important in building trust among employees and providing them a friendly environment. Collaborative leadership increases the quality as well as the quantity of work.

Collaborative Leadership

Characteristics of Collaborative Leadership

In this modern age, this leadership style has become common among people. The following are the characteristics that a collaborative leader possesses.

1. Freedom of Expression

In collaborative leadership organizations, everyone is free to express themselves. Unlike the traditional style of leadership, their ideas and participation are equally respectable as leaders. 

2. Open Organization 

A collaborative leadership organization is an open organization with open communication channels. Through these channels, workers can share data and information with each other freely.

3. Focus on Team Building

Collaborative leadership provides a sense of unification. All workforce work together for shared goals. This focus is on the mentality of “we” than the mentality of “me”. This builds trust among people so that they can relate to each other and discuss the tasks and help each other in achieving the set objectives.

Collaborative Leadership

4. Empowerment and Mutual Growth

Collaborative leadership provides a cooperative environment between managers and employees which empowers subordinates and leads to mutual growth. 

5. Mutual Accountability 

In the collaborative leadership style,  losses and emergencies are neither taken solely by the leader nor by the employees. Collaborative leaders take responsibility and accountability mutually without blaming each other.

6. Blurs Experience Gap

Collaborative leaders allow employees to contribute equally to the project which gives them equal opportunities to grow within an organization. This blur the experience gap between the leader and subordinates. 

7. Spread  Harmony

Collaborative leaders are harmonizers. They make sure that everyone is heard. The collaborative leader is a relationship builder in an organization. This quality helps them to bring out the strengths of employees. 

The benefits of Collaborative Leadership

Here are some benefits of collaborative leadership;

1. Distributes Workload Responsibilities 

Under collaborative leadership, everyone works together which naturally divides the workload. Unlike traditional leadership styles, collaborative leadership divides tasks equally which also increases the creativity of the project.

2. Produces Short Lead Times

Collaborative allocates duties to employees on what they have expertise. In this way, each team member brings his own strengths to the project. This improves the quality of the work. Quality reduces the need for revisions which ultimately provides consumers goods they want in a short time frame.

3. Team Oriented

Collaborative leadership focused on building relationships with the team members. Collaborative leaders provide a cooperative work environment. Their focus is transparency and trust to provide an atmosphere of sharing ideas, opinions, and concepts. 

Collaborative Leadership

4. Provides Significant Opportunities

Collaborative leadership provides significant opportunities to achieve substantial outcomes. The collaborative leader’s desire to collaborate across teams, trust, and better planning help in achieving favorable results.

5. Creates More Leaders

Great leaders always create leaders. Collaborative leaders possess this quality of creating leaders. They help and train people within their team with leadership skills. They provide a learning environment and set an example for people to follow.

6. Resolves Conflicts

Collaborative leadership does not avoid conflict but rather manages conflicts. In any company’s dynamics, conflict is a necessary aspect and collaborative leaders know this fact. Collaborative leaders possess the abilities of conflict management and they used these in times of crisis. 

Collaborative Leadership

7. Values Honesty and Openness

Collaborative leadership provides an environment for honest communication and guards sensitive communication. Collaborative leaders constantly analyze data and improve problem-solving. They encourage open conversations or disagreements with employees and respect their perspectives.

Trends Impacting Collaborative Leadership 

In this modern age, workplaces are adopting the collaborative leadership style more than ever before, here we can see how the trends of the modern era have impacted collaborative leadership;

1. Digital Collaboration

In this age of technology, digital collaboration tools in organizations have broken the physical barriers among workers. Instant messaging, video conferencing, and digital project management have allowed employees to work together without even showing their physical presence. 

Collaborative Leadership

2. Data-Based Decision- Making

Collaborative leadership has significantly impacted the organizations that have digitized their operations using technology such as machine learning and artificial learning. This software is used to gather, organize and present data to teams across industries, from which leaders can draw conclusions and make effective database decisions. 

The Major Difficulties with the Collaborative Leadership

1. Creates Dependency

In collaborative leadership, people have to stay connected which might cause a problem. It is hard to take breaks as other team members are connected with the project. This might cause stress in the working environment.

2.  Increases Labor Cost

Collaborative leadership involves more than one person on one project. On one hand, where it increases the quality of work, on the other hand, it is also increasing the cost of the project. The more people on one project, the more you have to pay for labor. 

3. Delays decisions- Making 

Under collaborative leadership, the presence of all stakeholders is necessary while making decisions. One person can not take decisions on the behalf of others. The delay in decision-making causes stress in emergency situations that require quick solutions.

4. Creates Confusion Among People

In an organization, some members require job definition and defined duties. They don’t want to work with the ideas of their co-workers. This creates confusion among members which negatively impacts the quality of the work. 

5. Does not Resolve All Conflicts

Disagreements are very common in workplaces. Under collaborative leadership, if one of the team members is putting in less effort than the others, this creates a sense of dissatisfaction among team members. So, the chances of conflict are also present in collaborative leadership.

When Is Collaborative Leadership Appropriate?

Here are some situations where collaborative leadership is appropriate; 

1. To Resolve Complex Problems 

Collaborative leadership is required to solve complex problems. In companies, most problems are interdisciplinary and can be resolved through collaboration. Such problems get resolved when all the parties come to the table and provide their opinion. 

2. Multiple Stakeholders

Collaborative Leadership is needed when a company has more than one stakeholder. They come from different backgrounds with diverse ideas. All the partners have to collaborate in taking mutual decisions.

Collaborative Leadership

3. Innovation

A collaborative leader plays a vital role in innovations. Diverse and inclusive culture in a company leads to innovation which is only possible under collaborative leadership. The collaborative leader allows diverse individuals to express their ideas. 

4. Satisfaction 

Collaborative leadership is required when a leader has to make decisions that are directly concerned with workers. Collaborative leaders make sure that everyone working in the company is satisfied and happy with them.

Tips for Collaborative Leadership

Here are some tips which will help you become a collaborative leader;

1) Learning

The initial step for a collaborative leader is to learn and gather knowledge on how to collaborate with others effectively. This will help you determine the methods and model which fits the need of the company.

2) Share Strategy Beforehand

In collaborative leadership, you are required to make and share strategies with the team members. This will give your team members time to prepare for the upcoming project and changes.

3) Provide Open Environment

To be an effective collaborative leader, one should create an environment for open dialogue and promote a collaborative atmosphere in an organization.

Collaborative Leadership

4) Defined Goals

If you want to be an effective leader, your goals should be defined. This will help your team members to stay focused and achieve the required outcomes. 

5) Appreciation

In collaborative leadership, you should appreciate the work of employees and celebrate the victories of the organization. This motivates employees and they work more effectively. 

Build Your Collaborative Leader Skills with Best Diplomats 

Are you looking for someone to teach you how to be an effective collaborative leader in this modern age? You are at the right place. Join our Best Diplomats team to grow in the corporate world. 

Enroll yourself now with the Best Diplomats!

Collaborative Leadership, Best diplomats platform


People are no more interested in the typical top-down hierarchical structure of organizations. In the leadership styles, collaborative leadership is valued and a future as well. Being a collaborative leader isn’t easy. You have to establish a collaborative environment for the diverse team. You have to empower your team member, celebrate their victories and own failures, and later, find the ways of it. Thinking of collaboration leadership, nowadays, by the people portrays its significance in workplaces. 


What are examples of collaborative leadership?

Communication channels, shared files, brainstorming, video calls, and the use of tools for project management are common examples of collaborative leadership.

Is collaborative leadership beneficial?

There are many benefits of collaborative leadership including innovation, productivity, diversity, and team building. 

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

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