We can easily be blinded by our preconceptions. A lack of information or lack of communication can create fertile ground for our imaginations to run wild. If we allow our preconceptions and our imagination to manifest, we can immediately have a gap in knowledge sharing / understanding.
We are wired to quickly and effectively deal with perceptual threats. It is easy to be threatened or become defensive and there are a lot of reasons for it. Our response or lack of response will now have a direct relationship with our ability to trust. If we have a lack of trust, the information and knowledge flow will effectively be low or null.
Here is a short list things to consider..
We are all leaders and followers, we can change roles even through the context of a conversation.
How do you feel emotionally? The sooner that you become aware that you are in an emotional place or that you have been triggered, the better you are able to respond and manage your feelings. If you understand that emotions are like an elephant and logic the rider, you can find ways to identify and calm yourself. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Happiness_Hypothesis
How do I manage my feelings? Negotiations start with people and concepts on ends of a spectrum. In order to move closer to resolving conflict we must become more aware and informed. The only way to do this is to find ways to set conditions where we are not controlled by our emotions. How we feel about something may not be a choice, but how we behave based on our feelings is.
3. Get curious
Practice effective listening http://www.forbes.com/sites/womensmedia/2012/11/09/10-steps-to-effective-listening/
4. Appreciate differences
There are common threads and bonds in all of us. A beautiful tapestry is one of many things and there are distinctions. We have to consider multiple perspectives to be effective in conflict management, communication and knowledge sharing.
5. Focus on one issue at a time
As technology allows people to do more tasks at the same time, the myth that we can multitask has never been stronger. But researchers say it’s still a myth — and they have the data to prove it.
Humans, they say, don’t do lots of things simultaneously. Instead, we switch our attention from task to task extremely quickly.
The best technologies in any area of knowledge management are useless without the knowledge / information / data itself. Beyond that, if people won’t come to the technology or table to look at the information it remains at rest and useless. In order for anything to be of value we must recognize it and engage. Engagement is a building activity of trust and trust of communication and activity. Conflict management and understanding how to deal with conflict is a key factor in knowledge management. It is an important place to start and understand.