How to Get To Effective Collaboration without Conflict

Effective collaboration needs healthy challenge and debate in order to improve the value of ideas and decision making.

“Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.”
Walter Lippmann, The Stakes of Diplomacy

A team that always agrees on everything for fear of causing conflict, will consist of individuals who are not truly engaged in their work.

When Opposition Becomes Unproductive

Opposition is simple disagreement, and should be encouraged as part of healthy debate in the collaborative process.


However, when opposition moves beyond professional disagreement, the fall-out can be personal conflict, resulting in damaged relationships, lack of motivation and even destructive behaviour.

“Personal conflict occurs when we experience a threat to our values or our sense of self-worth.”

Elias Porter

Developing the Skill of Collaborative Communication

To maximise the benefit of collaborating, you need to create an environment of respect, trust and openness, where you can draw out the strengths of each team member.

The starting point to achieve this is greater relationship awareness – an enhanced understanding of ourselves and what drives our behaviour – and how our behaviours can either motivate or cause conflict in others.

Effective Working Relationships = Constructive Collaboration

Effective Relationships Start with Self-Awareness

Individuals who have a greater appreciation of ‘the why’ behind their own behaviour, can better understand how conflict can occur with colleagues – knowing this, they can adopt an appropriate communication style to draw the best out of each other.




What we are talking about is simple; better business relationships. The challenge for any organisation is how to engage their employees from different backgrounds and life experiences, to develop a common language of authentic, effective working relationships.

Creating a Culture of Relationship Awareness

The Relationship Awareness Theory has everyone begin at the same start point; a deeper understanding of what makes them tick, what their core motives are, and how they experience conflict.

It also identifies what their strengths are and how best to use (and not use) those strengths to get the best out of ourselves and others.

This improved understanding, acceptance and appreciation of ourselves leads to a more empathetic perception of others, which ultimately improves our relationship effectiveness.

It doesn’t happen overnight, it’s definitely a journey – but it’s one of the most valuable and meaningful learning journeys you will go on.

If you are new to Relationship Awareness training, you might like to join us on our upcoming ‘Getting People Working Better Together’ Webinar on Friday 2nd March – you can register here.

Matt Leighton, Marketing Executive
A self-described lifelong learner, Matt has a genuine interest in what makes people tick, and how to get the best out of them. One of Matt’s roles at Personal Strengths UK is to keep banging the TotalSDI drum, sharing powerful Relationship Awareness Theory messages to get people working better together, through sustainable ‘people improvement’ training programmes using TotalSDI.

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