Response to Rochelle R. Asanti: Collaboration
Collaboration is critical in various aspects of life – not only in solving conflicts but also as a way of achieving great results through teamwork. As you highlight in your post, collaboration enables people to succeed in particular situations. A good example is in a work situation where there might be need for collaboration among various departments in order to achieve the set objectives. There are some aspects concerning collaboration that I may add at this particular point. Collaboration involves developing creative solutions that in one way or another satisfy the other party’s interests. It also reflects selflessness on the parties involved. In collaboration, the parties involved moved out of their comfort zones or give up some things in order to preserve relationships. It is a win/win situation where each party gives up something in order to ensure the other party is satisfied.
The collaborative strategy calls upon the parties involved to invest a lot of time (Rothwell, 2012). This helps in developing understanding and testing assumptions. If the parties do not wish to maintain long-term relationships, then collaboration may not be the most effective strategy. Collaboration is key in building relationships, developing trust, and in fostering respect among parties. In a collaborative environment, parties should address issues facing them directly. They should also do so in ways that express their willingness to let the other party achieve what they need too. From the above, it is clear that the collaboration strategy is appropriate in high value relationships. The goal is for both parties to win.
Related: Case: Listening at Different Levels
The situation you encountered involving the adamancy of some department leaders to support the new model would best be solved through a collaborative model. The reason I feel that collaboration is the best strategy is that there is need to develop long-term relationships with the other departmental leaders. While the collaborative model will definitely help in creating a win-win situation, it also helps in establishing cordial relationships between the parties involved. The solution you implemented to the problem in your department fits the collaborative model. Brainstorming ideas and writing them down as ‘posters’ for later discussion is an excellent way of ensuring collaboration or input of all the parties involved. It expresses the collaborative conflict style in action, whereby the leaders show cooperation and assertiveness in looking for a solution.
The idea of evaluating the points on various posters is a good way of solving conflicts by working together with the others involved. The collaborative approach you used enabled all parties to focus on solving the particular problem. In other methods, however, the focus may not be on the particular problem. For instance, in the accommodative approach, the focus is about the needs of other parties. Conversely, parties in a competing model focus on championing their own interests. According to Lussier (2015), the major advantage of the collaborative model is that it provides parties with the best solutions to their problems or conflict. In other words, it yields the greatest satisfaction to all parties concerned. Collaboration encourages parties to engage in constructive conflict. In the end, the parties reach solutions that satisfy everyone. It is interesting to note that the collaborative method enabled all parties to reach an agreement easily on the way forward. The use of other approaches such as the competing approach would have intensified the conflict among the various individuals.
Lussier, R. N. (2015). Management Fundamentals: Concepts, Applications, & Skill Development. Los Angeles, California: SAGE.
Rothwell, J. D. (2012). In mixed company: communicating in small groups. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.