Collaborative Team Leadership in Action

Cartoon image of three people working around a desk together.

What is Collaborative Team Leadership (also known as Participatory Management)? It is a management practice used here at Values into Action. With this philosophy, formal leaders work alongside team and community members.

Here at Values Into Action, we have many examples of this type of leadership in action.  

First, for people to fully participate, information is shared openly. Our team gathers feedback and ideas to inform changes and initiatives. We work together to problem solve issues as they arise even if it’s not typically part of our “role”.  Employees are involved in the strategic planning process along with our Board of Directors.  We organize workgroups, so everyone gets to take responsibility for the organization.

This style of leadership creates a space where decision-making is a team exercise. Everyone’s opinion helps construct an effective solution. We also meet regularly with our supervisor for what we call “Supervision as a Service.”  This process provides space for mutual feedback and continued learning. It also acts as an accountability checkpoint and guides goals, progress, and action. 

We recognize that it takes a strong team and trust for full participation. That is why we encourage and support team building  ongoing. This happens with icebreakers, through formal activities, and informal gatherings. Getting to know one another helps build trust and understanding throughout the organization.

The Values Into Action work team gathered together and smiling.
The Values Into Action NJ Team

To make Collaborative Team Leadership work, many things are needed. Some items include: strong communication skills, trust, and respect for diversity. It’s important to feel comfortable when communicating  ideas and thoughts without fear of retribution. At Values Into Action, everyone’s input is appreciated, respected, and considered. We believe it is important to brainstorm with a diverse range of people. We each come from various backgrounds and have unique life experiences. (Different races, abilities, ethnicities, ages, cultural identity, gender identity, for example.) We are open-minded with one another.  We strive to embrace the idea of change because growth is not possible without change! 

In closing, I leave you with these quotes:

“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro