Interest-Based Collaboration: An Approach for PEPFAR Teams

Tensions are high. The time has come to decide funding levels for next year, develop technical messages and guidelines, and prioritize resources in work plans. In meetings, team members are defensive, and earnestly guard what they believe is their portion of the pie. Members send complaints back to their home offices, and seem to be in constant conflict with one another… if they still communicate at all. When team members get together to make decisions, they sit on opposite sides of the table – literally and figuratively – dig in their heels, and debate endlessly until one side gives up or everyone leaves in a deadlock. The pressure mounts as the deadline for the COP approaches. Everyone dreads what may happen: that the management and operations teams won’t be able to reach an agreement, and the decision must be bounced up to the Executive Team. Sound familiar?