Everything you need to know about a Collaborator

The Collaborator leader

Collaborators are very much team players. So how exactly do they lead their teams to victory?

As a leader, Collaborators will generally be focused on developing and maintaining harmonious relationships within a stable work environment. They are often supportive managers who rely on coaching their team members by example. Collaborators will generally trust their team and delegate freely to them. They focus more on motivating this team, as opposed to defining what needs to be done.

Below is a list of strengths and cautions when a collaborator is in a management role.

Leading strengths

Puts emphasis on team welfare

Focused on motivating the team

Gives team time to process

Proficient in delegating

Leading cautions

May struggle with unpopular decisions

May avoid conflict

Can struggle under time pressure

May provide insufficient structure

But it’s not just about knowing how you lead; you also should be aware of the individuals you manage and the Team Type they form. This allows you to tailor your leadership strategies based on the people you’re actually managing—and use your strengths as a Collaborator to your advantage.

Let’s say you’re a Collaborator who’s managing a Producing Team. This Team Type is on the quadrant directly opposite yours, which means you’ll generally have competing values. Don’t panic! Different personalities don’t innately lead to failure. Understanding this difference in opinions, however, is a crucial step.

Take a look below at some points of friction to be aware of. Use these to learn how you can use your strengths to lead a team that doesn’t directly align with your Reference Profile.

Leading a Producing Team as a Collaborator

When a Collaborator is leading a Producing Team, they may be uncomfortable due to their desire for a collaborative environment and freedom from processes. You may encounter areas of friction, but there are ways you can help your people stretch their behavioral drives and make the team feel like magic.



The Producing Team’s intense approach and focus on details may clash with a Collaborator’s informal and easygoing style.

A Collaborator’s desire to talk through problems and solutions may clash with the Producing Team’s desire to take time to independently think through problems.

Collaborators may be hesitant to make unpopular decisions. Producing Teams tend to be data-driven and can help collaborators demonstrate clear, objective support for such decisions.

Producing Teams tend to be more reserved and prefer to take time for introspection.  Collaborators may take a more inclusive approach, helping Producing Teams bring more insights into the decision-making process. 

Based on the benefits and areas of friction that can arise when having a differently aligned team, come up with strategies that will help you lean into your strengths. For example, you could try to promote more team-building events to build trust that your team might not initially have.

So, we understand who we are, where we fit into a team, and how we can lead other teams as a Collaborator. When it comes to leading, though, there is much more to consider. You also need to think about what Strategy Type your team needs to accomplish their goals.

Do you feel prepared to make sure your team feels like magic rather than causing constant friction? Want to learn more? Check out our two workshops around building and cultivating teams that work like a dream.

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