Collaborative Leadership through Strengths Development Part I: Self-Awareness through Strengths Development

Today's university leaders have the opportunity to enhance the work of staff and faculty—both in quality and satisfaction—through intentional efforts at building a collaborative team leadership approach. Unlike past attempts at team building, collaborative leadership is not just off-site sessions with ropes courses and "getting to know you exercises." Nor is it a top-down approach requiring interdepartmental projects while providing rewards for required collaboration. Rather, it requires a rich and informed understanding of one's innate characteristics, traits, and passions; an ability to manage those abilities through a heightened sense of emotional intelligence; and a driving desire to understand and value the other's perspective. Without these essential elements of team building, it becomes difficult to establish the trust necessary for team productivity; strengths identification and development provide tools for these essential elements of team building.

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