No one ever became more #collaborative by making all the decisions. #QuoteADay #Day141 #edchat #edu #WorkTogether
Being collaborative isn't just a "thing." It's a way of thinking and doing. When we're collaborative, we're actively seeking the thoughts and opinions of others, with hopes of using those ideas to come to a stronger and more developed action plan.
Unfortunately, collaboration can be a buzzword, and often, people assume they are more collaborative than they truly are. Collaboration can't exist in a vacuum, and it certainly can't exist when the only decision maker in that vacuum is you.
Collaboration, by it's prefix, requires more than one person, thought, or idea. It means working with others in a "two heads are better than one scenario."
Yet, many of us still operate in schemes where there is a decision-maker, and predominantly only one. This is a faulty operating scheme, however, as there is only so much we can know about any one thing, and, in the case of a stool, for example, things stand up to weight much more when they're balanced, and balancing requires multiple legs (or brains).
Expanding the decision-making realm doesn't have to be difficult. Putting your leadership team into scenarios where they actually make leadership decisions can be as easy as just letting go. . . even if only a small bit. In addition, remember that your leadership impact is only as good as your legacy. By building leadership capacity in those who aren't yet "leaders," you can create the next generation of leaders who are committed and have the capacity to take on some of the initiatives that are not your strengths.
Collaboration is great when it is, in fact, truly collaborative. But, if it is just a buzzword, or a screen for decision-making that is one-dimensional, it tends to take on persona that doesn't work in education.
If it doesn't feel real, it won't be respected.
And if it isn't respected, you can be sure that it won't be done.