Many development (research) organisations are seeking to understand and harness the potential of collaboration. But collaboration is not easy. Not least because it requires trust. And an alignment of interests. And a good understanding of how power relations work and might set people against each other.
Sometimes these elements are just not there despite the initial good will. Whether from the start or as a progressive process, conflict shows up.
When it does, most people have difficulty letting go of their desire for harmony and tend to ignore the elephant in the room.
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 when it has degenerative qualities.
In a recent team-building retreat, the communication and knowledge management team of the International Livestock Research Institute was invited to reflect about conflict management to make it one of the themes touched upon in the retreat.
The following presentation is the result of this inquiry. It was put together on the basis of many great presentations and documents that exist on the topic.
The idea is that conflict can also be leveraged to generate the next solutions and to get to true collaboration.