What is Collaborative Management and Why You Need it

Do you ever find yourself feeling isolated from your team? The best leadership style to implement to bring leaders closer to their team is collaborative management. It prevents silos by developing close working relationships between managers, executives, and teams through shared information, ideas, and goals. You can build trusting relationships that promote creativity and increase productivity. 

Benefits of Collaborative Management?

The advantages of the collaborative management style are endless but here are some of the top benefits to keep in mind:

  • Strengthen team relationships and invest more in each other’s success
  • Decrease issues as collaborative, informed decision-making leads to proactive problem solving 
  • Improve team motivation as every voice, opinion, and experience is valued and heard
  • Increasing transparency leads to trust and information awareness

How to Implement Collaborative Management

Implementing collaborative work management is a process that can be an adjustment over time. Not every leader manages a team the same way, as each situation and person is unique. Yet, here are some simple steps with examples every leader can take to incorporate collaborative management:

Shared Organizational and Team Goals

At the heart of any organization is the mission. Every team works toward achieving that overarching goal, and every project is a step closer. The more aware every member of the team is of how they play a part in obtaining success, the more motivated and invested they will be in the organization. 


Sana is a project manager and gathers their team for a meeting to make a visual for the next quarter’s goals. They write the company mission on the whiteboard in large letters. Then they ask the team for ideas based on their past achievements. Together the team outlines a plan with specific tasks and assignments that all contribute to their overarching goal.

Discuss Relation to Other Departments

Silos occur when teams and individuals believe what they do on a day-to-day basis does not affect those in a different department. More often than not, the workflow in an organization is dependent on each other. The more leaders collaborate, the more available growth opportunities become. 


Shania is the head of marketing at a tech company and feels she is kept in the dark regarding how her team’s efforts are improving analytics and sales. She invites the heads of the other departments to a meeting where they can strategize and swap information.

Encourage Group Participation

Collaborative management encourages multiple voices, not just managers, to be heard in the room. Many women and other minority individuals in the professional world understand all too well how meetings can pass over their ideas or talk over them. As leaders, you can moderate the conversation and change the dynamic. 


During a meeting, Felicity struggles to be heard by her male coworkers, who interrupt her whenever she begins to speak. Leonie, her manager, notices this, stops the meeting to address the issue, and invites her to share her opinion.

Promote Proactive Team Problem-Solving

When fixing mistakes, conversations can focus on what can be done immediately. Yet, leaders are surrounded by subject matter experts and specialists who can think ahead. Spend some time considering what works, what does not, and how to replicate processes in the future can massively change productivity. 


Due to several setbacks, a production team can’t deliver the photoshoot on their client’s desired day. The project manager, Aisha, asks the team what they can do to expedite the process. During their conversation, she starts a list of what they learned and can prevent in the future. Throughout the meeting, team members share ideas to add to the list, and soon they have several actionable steps to improve productivity. 

Support Constant Communication

Interpersonal communication is equally as important as employee/manager communication. One of the best parts of collaboration management is when team members can resolve issues or communicate more individually without leaders initiating it. Constant communication also allows for increased information sharing and every member of the team is on the same page. For more information on communication, check out 10 tips for remote and hybrid communication


Imogen is visited by one of their team members Gwen asking about what data they can pull to show the client. Instead of adding it as a task on their list, Imogen encourages Gwen to go over to Emmanuel in the Analytics department and collaborate on it. 

Honesty is the Best Policy

Trust between managers and their teams can make coming to work much more enjoyable. Especially when it comes to salaries, promotions, and other opportunities for professional development, only some leaders can provide or guarantee something their team desires. Transparency about why something can not be delivered or taking accountability can deepen relationships as employees understand they are still valued and invested, even if they do not receive what they asked for. 

Highlight Team + Individual Success 

When we recognize the efforts of those around us, we promote and celebrate together. Take time to celebrate the small wins and the group efforts. Even having a communal place to pin notes of appreciation and gratitude can uplift a working environment. Read how gratitude can transform workplaces for women and get more ideas on how to incorporate it into the office.

Management styles and tips like this can make all the difference for leaders trying to climb the corporate ladder. The International Association of Women provides resources for professional women leaders and a space for women to find support and empowerment globally. 

Our members are industry leaders, groundbreaking entrepreneurs, and amazing working mothers who continually push boundaries while lifting up others. If that sounds like you, then join our community today at https://join.iawomen.com/new-member

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