Collaboration is a process where two or more work together with deeply held collective intention and determination to reach a shared objective. As the planning for the Art of Collaborative Leadership (March 16-18 in Halifax) begins, we are becoming even more curious about what it really means to be collaborative, the leadership or relational skills that foster collaboration and the subtle changes that can shift the shape of a relationship from defensive, tentative, co-existing or cooperative to collaborative.
The opportunity for collaborative relationships begins to show up when we recognize there could be more power or strength in creating a collaborative space or action. It also begins to show up when we become curious about what more could happen if we could generate a space of shared understanding – although that usually starts from a place of “I wish they understood us and our point of view better.”
If we want to change the nature of our conversations with others, we first need to change the nature of the conversations we have with ourselves – personally and/or organizationally. What would need to shift in how you think about potential collaborators in order to open the space for a collaborative relationship to form and then deepen so it has the potential to create sustainable and fundamental shifts in the area/work/system you care about?
What are the different dimensions and depth of collaboration? What does it take to stay in a collaborative relationship, especially during the episodes of difficulty that often challenge our understanding of the relationships we are in?
These are some of the questions we will be inviting into the Art of Collaborative Leadership. What about you? What questions are you holding? Will you share them? Will you come?