Thing 10: Collaborating and influencing

In Thing 10 you will explore:

  • what is the impact of your leadership on others?
  • how can you develop your abilities to take others with you?

Open Badge information

Open Badge: SSSC 23 Things Leadership – Thing 10: Collaborating and influencing in leadership

Counts towards: SSSC 23 Things Leadership – 6 Leadership Capabilities

Introduction

You may find it helpful to complete Things 1-4 before starting Thing 10.

As a social service worker your leadership will often be apparent in how you work in partnership with people who use your service, as well as colleagues from your own organisation and other agencies or sectors.

Collaborative leadership is essential to meet the challenge of greater personalisation of services and integrated working. Working with and influencing others across organisations and sectors is an increasingly important way to achieve desired outcomes.

Whatever your role, using your leadership skills to collaborate with and influence others can be an effective way of improving outcomes. In your day-to-day practice you may find you are in a position to influence the thinking, practice and decision making of others. This could involve:

  • Building positive working relationships and networks based on transparency and integrity
  • Supporting collaborative approaches with people who use your service and with workers at all levels in the workforce.
  • Identifying and working towards a shared purpose or goals, while appreciating complex and conflicting perspectives
  • Understanding how diverse views can lead to creative solutions for better outcomes
  • Using evidence, information and research to influence others, including those who have authority over you and colleagues in other organisations.

Instructions

Watch the video on Lisa’s childminding service below. In this resource Lisa illustrates qualities of collaborative leadership in:

  • Undertaking an advocacy role in supporting a parent to achieve the best outcome for her child
  • Promoting the value of childminders’ inputs to multi-disciplinary discussions on children’s development
  • Building a collective childminding network

In her narrative Lisa conveys the importance of relationship building in collaborating with, and influencing, others. She brings into play aspects of strategy, goal-setting, networking, practice development and mutual support.

Lisa speaks of the point where she realised:

“I am a leader — I can drive this forward and get that support, empower this parent, advocate for her … and ensure that we were getting the best possible outcome.”

Recent research, Enabling leadership, identified what good leadership looks like in Scotland’s social services. The research proposed a theory of change and logic model. If you look at the Leadership Logic Model you will see that there are descriptors under the headings for:

  • What do good leaders bring?
  • What do good leaders do?
  • How do good leaders engage?

Many of these characteristics, behaviours and attitudes are integral to influencing others and building collaborative relationships.

Having looked at the video on Lisa’s childminding service:

  • In what ways does Lisa demonstrate a collaborative approach in her practice and leadership?
  • Drawing on Lisa’s narrative, which of the logic model descriptors do you think apply to her practice and leadership?

Now, reflecting on your own experience and practice:

  • Think about a situation when you have worked with others in pursuit of a desired outcome:
    • What relationships did you need to build?
    • How did you go about that?
    • How did you reach agreement on outcomes, actions and responsibilities?

Look again at the Leadership Logic Model. In the same way as you used the descriptors to appreciate Lisa’s leadership, apply them to your own example of collaborative practice. In particular consider:

  • What do good leaders need? … How did your workplace support you to work with others (internally/externally) … or how did you support others to be collaborative in their practice?
  • What do good leaders bring? … What attitudes and qualities did you display in the collaborative work?
  • What do good leaders do? … What leadership behaviours did you demonstrate?
  • How do good leaders engage? … How did you go about working with others to agree and achieve outcomes?
  • How do people respond? … How did people respond to the way you engaged with them?

Drawing on the example you thought about in step 4, write a statement (minimum 200 words) on what you have learned about collaboration and influence as fundamental skills for good leadership practice. This should include reflection on how your own practice and leadership behaviours have been collaborative and have influenced others in achieving favourable outcomes.

You can provide the statement on the open badge application form or provide a link to your own *blog/portfolio. You may find it helpful to look at Recording Your Learning and Reflecting on Leadership.

*If you want to use a blog or ePortfolio entry as evidence, you might find our guide to preparing and publishing your evidence useful.

Click here to access helpful resources for Thing 10

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