The uneasy step from conflict management to collaboration


We all aspire to collaboration. We all want it, we all heed it, we all crave it.

But as we know, in trust we must trust.

And sometimes trust just isn’t there. Even quite the contrary. Conflict might be looming about, whether insidiously or openly.

It is difficult to let go of our desired image of harmony. We are keen on ignoring the elephant in the room, on putting our heads in the sand and pretending we live in heaven.

When bravely we face the truth we realise that conflict is not all that easy to understand, to recognise, to apprehend – let alone to prevent.

For a recent gig I was supposed to co-facilitate, I put together the following presentation about conflict management, on the basis of many great presentations and documebts that I could find on the topic.

I hope it starts unraveling some of these hidden issues…

The idea is that conflict can also be leveraged to get us back on the more important quest of building trust and through collaboration building the castles born from our dreams.

How do you use conflict in your work? Do you talk about it openly? Do deal with it upfront or guerrilla-like? Why?

What is it about conflict that makes us so averse to it? And how can we really build on its generative potential without being strife seekers?

What is the place of conflict in modern, agile knowledge management? You tell me…

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