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Collaborative Leadership, 2nd Edition by Alex Cameron, David Archer

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11Conflict and the Collaborative Leader

Conflict is inevitable

When the leaders of major collaborative ventures discuss their experience, they highlight the challenges they face and the lessons they have learned. Building relationships and sharing control are always mentioned but at the top of their list is often the need to handle conflict. It is often their number one concern at the start of a potentially difficult new partnership – how will they be able to deal with a serious dispute?

Fearing whether they can deal with it, many leaders see conflict as something to be avoided at all costs. Avoidance and collusion are common coping strategies: they tend to ignore the problem for as long as possible, and if that doesn’t work, they pass it to ...

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