One of the most important conversations I have when I begin work with a group is about structure and in particular, what will be the level of involvement in decision-making by group members?
The range of participation level is like a spectrum that ranges from being informed and providing feedback; to providing a more consultative role where input is discussed and influences outcomes; to a more collaborative role where ideas are generated and group decisions determine outcomes; to a co-designer role where the group is building shared vision and creating pathways which impact the whole system.
Sometimes the level of involvement shifts over time. The leader sets out to encourage high engagement but pulls back when the group goes in an unwanted direction. Other times the leader begins at some middle level of involvement but over time discovers a high level of trust in the group which creates new potential for higher levels of involvement.
As a consultant, I try to discern the range of involvement level that is called for and also what is comfortable for a group. But sometimes, when the group takes off, born of trust and relationship and expansion of thought, it is a thing of beauty and a height newly achieved.