Collaborative Leadership Workshops

Power, Authority, and Collaborative Leadership

It is possible to harness the power of peers to improve collaboration in the workplace.

Collaboration seems so simple, yet is too often elusive.

Disinterest, competing agendas and turf wars disrupt the opportunity to collaboratively create complex responses for complex problems.

Smart people do a great job on their own. That’s good for work that requires individual effort. With so much work now interdependent, that simply is not enough.

What can you do to better manage collaboration in your organisation?

Karen Morley in white blouse sitting outside making a phone call

Does intelligence predict high performance?

The evidence is clear that high performance in groups is not about the smartest person in the room. The average intelligence of group members and the intelligence of the smartest group member do not strongly correlate with group performance.

Shared work tasks take longer and are harder than they need to be, because petty power plays rule. Too much time is spent fighting over who has higher status. This harms the ability of groups to work together. Shared commitments won’t stick in such an environment.

Organisations still have a long way to go in better managing collaboration capability, demands and quality.

With a reconfiguration of engagement efforts to peer collaboration, organisations could significantly improve the quality of interaction, increase engagement and relieve leaders of some of the pressure they are under.

In their study of a US Fortune 500 technology company, Cross, Rebele & Grant found that 60% of workers wanted to spend less time responding to ad hoc collaboration requests, which they felt exhausted by. However, 40% wanted to spend more time training, coaching, and mentoring. It was not the amount, but the quality of interaction that really mattered. After contributions were adjusted to align with these preferences, the employees were less stressed and more engaged.

Yet few organisations are reaping the benefit of quality peer interaction. Most prioritise their efforts to increase engagement on either organisation-wide or leader-led strategies.

Some see the potential in peer collaboration, but few are leveraging it.

And despite the opportunity that strengthening peer relationships presents, organisations continue to reward practices that fracture collective effort. They:

  • Reinforce power differentials by rewarding command and control styles, where only top leaders make decisions, and which reinforces silos;
  • Over-recognise individual achievement and under-recognise collective effort. ‘Stars’ might hit their numbers and gain plenty of attention for it, but they don’t contribute to the success of their colleagues; and
  • Provide little systematic opportunity for high-quality peer interaction; there’s too much focus on low-value meetings and decision-making processes that require multiple interactions for questionable gain.

The net result is that peers don’t collaborate, they compete, they reinforce their silos and protect their turf. And end up feeling exhausted and unproductive.

Karen facilitating leaders around a meeting table

Power, Authority, and Collaborative Leadership Workshop

Learning outcomes:

  • Harness the power of peers to improve collaboration in the workplaces
  • Gain clarity about the critical success factors for peer collaboration.
  • Take a fresh perspective on the dynamics of power, and how to use it to create shared outcomes.
  • Try out tactics for increasing personal authority in complex group dynamics.
  • Prime for success in collaborative interaction.
  • Create an action plan for increasing collaborative power.

Character of the program

  • A strong, practical “how-to” focus.
  • Highly interactive learning environment informed by participants’ own experiences.
  • Behavioural tips based on the latest evidence on power and collaboration.
  • An accountability frame that engages you in translating learning back to your work.

Program overview:

Once upon a collaboration

  • Participants’ experiences of collaboration
  • Shared perspectives on what works and doesn’t
  • Implications for your sphere of interaction

Secret powers of peer collaboration

  • How peer influence works
  • The subtle art of influencing

We’ve got the power

  • Understanding the dynamics of power
  • Resisting power plays
  • How to achieve collective intelligence

The unbearable lightness of influence

  • Deceptively simple ways to influence others for good
  • Prime yourself to be an ideal collaborator
KarenMorley-What is Collaboration and How it Improves Engagement

Download Karen’s Whitepaper Here

Whitepaper #3 describes how to create advantage through peer collaboration. It will help you to take practical steps to improve collaboration.

Workshop Presenter

Dr Karen Morley 

Dr Karen Morley helps leaders to realise their full potential. Besides being an Executive Coach and leadership facilitator, she’s held executive roles in government and higher education; her approach is informed by these experiences.  Her doctorate examined the leadership capabilities of public sector executives.

The best leaders use everyone’s talents to the full, and her programs promote inclusive leadership strategies and practices. She is an authority on the benefits of gender-balanced leadership and how to help women to succeed in senior organisational roles. She has published Gender Balanced Leadership: An Executive Guide and written numerous other working and white papers.

Karen is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne and a Director at ANZSOG. She’s a Psychologist with a desire to align what leaders do with the available evidence for what works.

Karen Morley in red coat exiting through automatic doors

Some of Karen’s clients and what they have to say

“Overall leadership coaching was tremendously positive. I have made significant progress as a leader, a view supported by feedback from my key stakeholders. From the first session, the chemistry was right and Karen very quickly became familiar with me and my role. Meetings with Karen have provided the guidance and solid structure around which to reflect and formulate development plans with clear actions and outcomes. Karen has also assisted me in navigating through a period of uncertainty.”

“Karen gave me a number of very useful techniques that enabled me to maintain my objectivity and my equilibrium at a very challenging time. Central to the process was a focus on clarifying my values: the process she led me through was beneficial in understanding my core values that would continue to guide me, and the new and changing values that were driving a re-orientation.”

“I had the pleasure of having Karen as a coach and she taught me the importance of coaching in building and leading an effective team. At the time, I had just started a new role in a field which I was not familiar with, leading a new team with people from different backgrounds, a wide range of experiences, capabilities and varying degrees of ambition. Karen helped me to use coaching as a way to build trust in the team. I realised that the more I used a coaching approach, my team also started to coach each other. We started engaging and communicating a lot more and ultimately worked a lot more effectively as a team.”

Collaborative Leadership Workshop Enquiries

For more information about leadership workshops, please contact me via the form below, or call 0438 215 391

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