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Desert Highway
Thoughtful writing authored and shared by members of of the Thinking Collaborative community to support others on the journey.

Sustaining the Journey

Why is Collaboration So Difficult?

Authored By:

Thinking Collaborative


December 15, 2014

We all give lip service to the importance of collaboration and most of us commit

to being collaborative in our work. Yet, collaboration often breaks down and evolves into conflict and withdrawal to individual work. What makes collaboration so difficult even when we believe in its importance and value?

Here are some things that seem to contribute to the challenges of collaboration:

Style differences and our difficulty in working with others who are different

Our need to be right and get our way

Time that is required to work through differing perspectives

Preferences for working as individuals and creating our own way

Power differentials

Lack of true dialogue for understanding

Need to act rather than take time to dialogue and think

Past baggage in relationships that are difficult to resolve

Lack of trust

Lack of interest in learning from others

What else might you add to the list? Which one of these might be a source of difficulty for you in a situation you are in? How might you be efficacious in responding to break this pattern?

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