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Resolving Conflict with Collaboration

One more style or approach to conflict resolution in meetings is one of collaboration. Collaboration is an open style whereby people are considered just as important as results. Conflict is handled in such a way that there are no secrets. Everything is brought out into the open.

People who use this style believe in basic problem-solving techniques and look for the consensus agreement. A collaborative approach is especially useful in handling conflict when:

  • The members are trained in problem-solving
  • The parties have common goals that need the cooperation of all to be achieved
  • The conflict arises from misunderstandings or communication breakdowns

Collaboration Tips and Traps

TIP: The collaborative approach can take more time than other styles. For that reason, this technique can be difficult in meetings with a large number of participants. Be mindful of the time and the size of the group when you choose collaboration to resolve conflict in a meeting.

TRAP: If the group has very different values or goals, then collaboration may not be a successful approach.

More so than the other four styles, collaboration has the highest concern for both people AND achieving a result. In contrast, a style like avoidance has the least concern for people and a result.

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