Collaborative Teams



We are respectful and cooperative with each other. Our market needs what our company offers. Why are we stalled?

Leaders Must Build Teams That Are Collaborative, Not Only Collegial.

I’ve seen it happen in such wonderful workplaces. People are happy. They are kind to each other. Any person will jump in to help another, no matter their position. There is psychological safety. There’s also often financial security, including a leader who will go to lengths to avoid job cuts.

While collegiality is important, and I write and speak often about how critical it is for a leader to address safety, being collegial is not enough to generate breakthrough performance.

Without collaborative action toward achieving clear performance outcomes, the business is at risk.

The Difference between Collaboration and Collegiality.

Collaboration is a term often used interchangeably with collegiality, but there is a significant difference between the two: outcomes.

  • Collegiality refers to the quality of relationships among members of a group, including trust, respect and a sense of responsibility to the group.

To create a safety, which is critical to alignment, build collegiality.

  • Collaboration refers to the act of working together to achieve a common goal.

To gain momentum, focus on collaboration.

Benefits of Collaboration.

Collaborating teams tend to be more productive, innovative, and effective in problem-solving. A focus on collaboration naturally brings together diverse perspectives and experiences, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of complex issues. Collaboration requires accountability, engagement, and ownership of goals, leading to higher levels of commitment to achieving results.

Collaboration also leads to greater job satisfaction and retention. It fosters a positive work culture built on trust, respect, and open communication, which are essential elements for employee engagement and satisfaction.

Pivot to being Collegial AND Collaborative.

Building collaboration skills in an organization is an ongoing process that requires a concerted effort from leaders at all levels.

Here the top three ways that leaders can foster collaboration within their teams:

  • Model collaborative behavior: Actively encourage diverse participation and perspectives, and candid feedback (and be open to receiving the same). Be specific when appreciating the contributions of team members.
  • Clearly communicate objectives: Support the performance and culture in your organization through clear communication, which includes a clear strategic direction and objectives or goals.
  • Build trust: Collaboration requires trust and trustworthiness of every person in the organization regardless of position. Honor truth, keep commitments, stay competent, and live core values.

As a leader, set the stage for collaboration to thrive with collegiality in your organization. You’ll realize better bottom-line results.

Your best next step

For “Your 1 Best Next Step,” identify where collegiality or collaboration needs improvement in your organization (or in you). How might you collaborate with others to improve this?

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