Become a More Collaborative Leader

Effective leadership, especially during times of change and uncertainty, requires collaboration. Here’s how you can develop this crucial skill.

First, look for clues about what works (and what doesn’t) in your organization’s culture. In meetings, pay attention to the most influential leaders and observe how they communicate. Is their approach different from yours? When you understand the “rules” of the game, you’ll be in a much better position to play it.

Next, when advocating for a project, choose your battles wisely. Pick a project, workflow, or area where you have strong allies and expertise. Those are the areas most ripe for effective collaboration. As you pursue your initiative, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. Seek input and suggestions from your colleagues and reports to understand better how your approach is being perceived—and what you can do next time to be more effective. Your goal is to build coalitions to gain support for your ideas and create a sense of shared ownership over the project.

Finally, be open to others’ perspectives. Remember: To gain influence, you must also be open to being influenced.

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