In his latest book Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don't Agree with or Like or Trust Adam Kahane explores what he calls 'Stretch Collaboration'.
According to Adam, Stretch Collaboration occurs when 'we need to work with these people and we really do not see how we are going to be able to'. He also identifies two reasons for this perception: 1. we cannot control the situation (and trying to control it will have very negative consequences, as this example shows); 2. we cannot agree about the problem and how to solve it.
In a recent video about his book, Adam says that key to working effectively within these extremely difficult collaborations is developing the ability to suspend your opinions and beliefs: to continue holding them but lightly, as if by a string held in front of you and others.
In the past, and in my book Sleeping with the Enemy - Achieving Collaborative Success: Fifth Edition, I have described a technique that can help you develop this ability. I call it Flock Thinking and you can read about it, and watch a short video of me explaining it, here.
If you scroll down to the end of the post about Flock Thinking, you will find a link to another post offering a couple of tools that will help you apply the technique to discussions with collaborators and partners.