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As the old saying goes, there is no "I" in team, so for any business to succeed, people need to be able to work together effectively, regardless of whether this involves different departments, employees and their managers or simply coworkers. Collaboration is something every business strives for, and once they have that aspect down, they can operate more efficiently and effectively.

As the Harvard Business Review noted, collaboration is even more important in this day and age. Companies operate on a global scale, meaning some businesses never truly close. They can operate across borders almost seamlessly through the rise of new technologies and greater wireless connectivity. That also means collaboration is at an all-time importance – businesses must be able to quickly respond to market needs and demands, and that means the ability to work together with others is pivotal.

Bolstering collaboration within businesses
So, how can companies foster better collaboration? Oddly enough, the first step may be focusing on resolving conflict. For many managers, the temptation to sweep disagreements under the rug is high – they may believe that time heals all wounds and conflicts between adults will dissipate as long as they never balloon out of control. Sometimes, only the most tumultuous of conflicts are addressed when they begin having serious impacts on productivity and mood in the workplace.

The fact of the matter, however, is that companies need to not only deal with conflict actively, they also need learn how to navigate these rocky waters deftly and precisely. Simply acknowledging disputes is not enough, managers and leaders need to work together with the people having issues with each other to ensure a satisfactory resolution. If there is even a hint of an unresolved conflict, it will greatly hinder collaboration efforts. At the same time, a conflict that is addressed but not resolved effectively may have an equally hindering effect.

Businesses need to realize that conflict is not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, companies can even benefit from resolving conflicts quickly and taking a proactive approach. Reducing or ignoring conflicts will not improve collaboration, but addressing them head on and resolving them successfully may do the trick and garner other positive outcomes for firms.

Learning to resolve conflicts
Through all the interactions people have in their lives leading up to their entrance into the workforce, they may have some basic understanding of conflict resolution. Yet the fact of the matter is that experience alone does not make one a deft negotiator of these situations.

If businesses want to do a better job of promoting collaboration within the workplace, managers need to learn how to resolve conflicts more effectively. This can lead to fewer internal disputes, which can promote productivity in the long haul. Additionally, better conflict resolution may play a pivotal role in improving business relationships internally.