Collaborative Leadership Training Info

Our collaborative leadership training is a balance between Groupwork Centre content and a focus on people’s particular learning needs and challenges.

We work with you to ensure that our experiential training process meets the learning needs of your team.

Training Outline


This short course is traditionally held over two days. However in response to Covid19, all courses are now held online for the foreseeable future. As we are constantly experimenting in order to get the most of our on-line courses, the particular format may change. Please refer to the course dates for the specific times and schedule for upcoming training.

The following description of our two-day face to face format will give you a good indication of the flow and content we cover online. If you would like to know more, please give us a call +61 (03) 9443 8500 or drop us an email:

Day One

  • Welcome & introductions
  • Agenda and agreements
  • What is collaborative leadership?
  • Values and principles of collaborative leadership
  • Groupwork Institute model of collaborative leadership

Morning Tea

  • Understanding ourselves and our reactions in the workplace
  • The micro-skills for collaboration


  • The challenges – what do people find particularly challenging in the collaborative leadership role?
  • Work on challenges using the micro-skills

Afternoon Tea

  • More practice addressing challenges
  • Reflection on the day’s learnings
  • Focus for day two
  • Evaluation of day one

Day Two

  • Catch up and reflections from day one
  • Your leadership style
  • What is your style? Use GIA sociometric exercise
  • Discussion on ramifications of your style
  • Where might it need ‘adjusting’?
  • How might we do this?

Morning Tea

  • Addressing collaborative leadership challenges


  • Giving and receiving challenging messages
  • GIA ‘hearable messages’ model
  • Practice the model using people’s real experiences and specific challenges
  • More work on challenging issues

Afternoon Tea

  • Learning reflections
  • Evaluation

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Training content – Collaborative Leadership

This training will balance Groupwork Institute input and associated practice exercises, with a focus on participants’ particular collaborative leadership challenges.

Specific input draws from the following content areas.

Understanding ourselves in our organisational context

The more we understand the various aspects of ourselves, the better collaborative leaders we will be. Come prepared to know (and accept) yourself better!

  • Understanding what presses our buttons.
  • Getting to know and working on the fears and other self-limiting messages that hold us back as collaborative leaders.
  • Managing our own reactions in the workplace.

Group dynamics and the role of the unconscious in work teams

So much of what goes on in work teams has an emotional content. Much of it is to do with our unconscious. Participants learn to identify the signs of unconscious dynamics, understand their effect and develop the skills to work with these towards the team’s purpose.

  • The creation of openness and trust in work teams
  • Understanding the unconscious dynamics at play in work teams
  • Role theory as applied to group (work team) dynamics
  • Dealing with diversity
  • Understanding the dynamics of power and rank

Practice principles of collaborative leadership

Collaborative practice needs to have a strong, clear value base.  As collaborative leaders we need to be able to articulate our values and principles, for both ourselves and the teams we work with.

  • The role of the collaborative leader
  • Articulating the core values and principles of collaborative leadership
  • Applying these principles to our workplace challenges
  • Utilising these practice principles

Key micro skills for collaborative leadership

A competent collaborative leader needs an array of interpersonal communication skills. Many of these skills may be known to you. However, we have articulated an extensive range of micro-skills integral to collaborative leadership. We will look at some of the key micro-skills, for example:

  • Hearing and validating people’s contribution
  • Being there for everyone in the work team
  • ‘Poking around’ – unearthing unspoken dynamics
  • Naming, normalising, validating people’s input
  • Synthesising group wisdom
  • Welcoming difference – facilitating strongly held differing views

Understanding your leadership styles

This unit is about finding an effective balance between being:

  • Supervisory
  • Attending to structures and processes
  • Transparent, clear authorative decision making
  • Keeping clear boundaries
  • Going with the flow
  • Consensual – involving staff in important decisions
  • Approachable and supportive
  • ‘Hands off’ –  trusting and delegating

Dealing with the challenging aspects of collaborative leadership

Within the workplace, occasional conflict or other hot spots are inevitable. As collaborative leaders, we need to develop the resilience and skills to deal with these challenges.

  • Understanding our responses to conflict or the expression of strong feeling
  • Working with  ‘hot spots’ and ‘flat spots’
  • Facilitating strongly held differences
  • Facilitating conflict between participants
  • Bringing out what might be going on beneath the surface, when this is getting in the way of people’s contribution
  • Challenging behaviour – domination, aggression, non-participation, etc.
  • Challenges to your leadership role.

Change management in collaborative leadership

Management generally embraces addressing change. It is very useful to have the tools to do this well. We will look at:

  • Framing the nature of change in our current times
  • The effect of change and transition
  • What is required of us as change managers?
  • What makes all this difficult for us?
  • Tools for managing change courageously and wisely
  • Helping others manage change effectively

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Capacity to Undertake This Training

The Groupwork Institute has been providing independent facilitation services since 1984, and have been training facilitators since 1998. In 2001 we first offered the yearlong Advanced Diploma of Group Facilitation, the first of its kind in the world.

This training draws from:

  • Our own model of collaborative practice which has evolved from our experience of offering management and facilitation services since 1984.
  • Our experience of offering training to managers publically and in-house. We continually refine this work in response to participants’ feedback and integrating new material from the broad realm of management education.
  • Our own unique units which we offer through our Diploma of Leadership and Management (BSB51915), which we first offered in 2002. This is, in effect, a collaborative management course wrapped around the nationally recognised qualification. These units on collaborative management, which are contained within the Diploma of Leadership and Management, have been accepted by ASQA.
  • The units we have developed in our Advanced Diploma of Group Facilitation (10386NAT). This Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) approved Advanced Diploma is privately owned and offered by the Groupwork Institute as the world’s first nationally accredited facilitation qualification.

Talk to us about your training needs