How do we achieve collaboration?

Disagreement and conflict are the vital ingredients to collaboration.  We need to create an environment in our workplaces where we have thinking partners who are not echo chambers. Where conflict can occur and great creative solutions are the output.  This takes inspiration from Margaret Heffernan’s wonderful TED talk, Dare to Disagree. Check it out – It is a worthy 13 minutes!

Conflict allows people to be creative and solve problems.  It allows the boundaries to be stretched.  Conflict should not be feared.  It should be considered as ‘thinking’.

Margaret Heffernan says organisations don’t think because people are too afraid to conflict.  They don’t ‘think’ and stretch and problem solve together, so the organisation ultimately doesn’t get the best out of its people.  We are hard wired to avoid conflict.  We can only change this and have people embrace conflict by giving them the skills to manage conflict in a healthy constructive way.  Then they wont be afraid of what follows a disagreement.  They will have the confidence to have robust discussion and know that when it is getting a bit shaky or grey they will be able to manage a positive outcome.

Doesn’t this strike you as perfect for your next enterprise negotiations?! There is a climate where you certainly won’t have echo chambers and most probably you will have conflict and disagreement.  For collaboration to occur in your negotiations you just need to ensure that the negotiation parties are thinking partners.  So there are a couple more ingredients  –

  • ensure the negotiation team is made up of people who think in different ways.
  • people have the courage to disagree at the negotiation table.
  • everyone is willing and open to change their minds.
  • commitment to a higher goal or purpose, that is, what is the enterprise agreement going to achieve.

Of course, people also need to be given the skills to conflict in a healthy way and problem solve.

PEEL has various in-house training programs focused on building collaboration whether it is within your teams or in enterprise negotiations.  For more info on our in-house training portfolio click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *