At the heart of collaborative leadership is the concept that, when appropriate, any team member can spontaneously share the leadership role. This action becomes appropriate when a meeting, for some reason, is drifting away from its objective or when the expertise of a team member is not being drawn into the decision-making process. The team member who first notices either problem must speak up and get the attention of the project manager. Then, that team member can intervene by reminding the team that urgent business is at hand and time is limited, or that team members with important expertise are not speaking up or being heard.
Some questions to prompt intervention are
Are we forgetting some team norms?
Do we all agree on the meaning of the term we are using?
Do we not generally agree that "this" task sequence belongs in our task list? Can we now accept that and move on?
Are we letting our discussion focus on personalities rather than project outcomes?
Are we giving everyone the opportunity to participate?
Are we aware of our time limit and of what we have to accomplish?
Often those who want to ask such questions to better focus and expedite a meeting feel uncomfortable about actually doing so, but with IPM, these questions are encouraged. One aspect of the integrating principle is that all team members share in team leadership as previously described. The project manager must emphasize this point and issue the invitation, but should never completely surrender the responsibility to lead the meeting.
All team members are asked to take this shared leadership responsibility seriously, and at the same time, not abuse it with lengthy discussions. An opportunity to share leadership will motivate many workers to work diligently toward the team's goals.