Why is it so easy to get people to agree that collaboration is important, but so difficult to achieve successfully?
We operate in systems where we are connected, therefore, resistance and "against-ness" can make it difficult to reach goals. We instictively know that collaboration is the way to go. However what we sometimes call collaboration is "enlistment", or attempting to get others to cooperate with the way we think things should work.
True collaboration means starting with a shared goal. This is not enlisting you in helping to achieve my goal. This process of discovering with goal we actually share, hold dear, and can only be accomplished by working together.
As we work together towards this goal, or collaborate to achieve it, there will be conflict. We have strategies for dealing with conflict that we are comfortable with given our personality. Each collaborative partner must be willing to give up some of their "comfort zone" in the area of conflict to be successful. For the competitive driver, this means slowing down, staying cooperative, and listening. For the accommodating "people pleaser", this means asserting your needs, experience and views in the midst of them seemingly being discounted. These adjustments are not comfortable by definition. But when we make achieving the goal more important than our individual and personal comfort, we get willing to make them. The true collaboration requires this kind of adjustment, such that conflict can be resolved in ways that maintain enthusiasm and builds trust.