- Identify member assets and determine how they can be positioned within the coalition
- Put mechanisms in place that foster stakeholder ownership, trust, and accountability
- Find ways to honor member contributions and successes
- Determine who is in your coalition network and identify ways they can support you in addressing current and future coalition priorities
- Put a communication structure in place to ensure timely and efficient exchange of information across members and with the public
- Take an inventory of your resource needs and available resources in the community
- Delegate work to be accomplished to appropriate members of the coalition
- Develop a formal process for resolving coalition conflict
Tools & Resources
- Coalition Leadership Tips
- The Care and Feeding of Coalition Leaders
- Effective Communication for Coalition Development
- Training for Conflict Resolution
Exercise Effective Leadership Skills
The coalition leader plays an integral role in advancing the work of the coalition and must wear many hats. They need to inspire members, manage the day-to-day work of the coalition, and make connections across members to leverage collective and strategic action. According to NACCHO key informants, the best leaders have the ability to foster a sense of trust, accountability, and ownership among stakeholders. When coalitions are led this way, stakeholders stay engaged and create the momentum that drives the coalition toward a common goal. Effective leaders of coalitions have a set of distinct skills and organizational knowledge which includes the following attributes:
- Ability to inspire others to action
- Consensus building and group facilitation
- Strategic planning and goal setting
- Resource procurement
- Conflict resolution
When planning out strategic issues for leadership, a place to start is to consider your members’ assets and determine how they can be best utilized in your coalition. You should also consider what mechanisms you can put in place to nurture stakeholder ownership, leverage community support, ensure effective communication across coalition members and with the public, encourage effective decision making, and procure the resources you need to accomplish coalition priorities.
- What are the unique skills and talents among our membership and where can they best be utilized?
- How can we empower the members of our coalition to contribute their ideas and talents?
- In what ways can we celebrate and honor our members’ accomplishments?
- What are our current and future priorities and challenges and how can we leverage stakeholder support for them?
- What communication mechanisms can we put in place to ensure the flow of information across stakeholders within and outside of the coalition?
- How can we facilitate decision making and planning processes that best focus members, encourage input, foster team building, and lead to consensus?
- What resources do we need and what resources can we leverage in the community to fill these gaps?
- What work within the coalition can be delegated to other members and staff?
- What is the best process to use to resolve conflict within our coalition?