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Conflict Resolution Program

The purpose of this program is to offer faculty and staff the opportunity to participate in mediation and other informal conflict resolution strategies to address a dispute with another person(s) and also to provide professional development workshops and conflict management coaching to nurture individual learning and growth.

Many people who access our services learn that they have the capability to resolve a conflict or dispute and that they can develop a better set of skills for interacting with other people in the future.

Virginia Tech recognizes that conflict between two or more members of any community is inevitable. While there are a variety of formal procedures available to address conflicts or disagreements there are many positive benefits to offering people the opportunity to address concerns in an informal setting where they maintain control of the decisions as to how a dispute or disagreement can be resolved in a way that meets their needs and interests as well as the needs and interests of the other person.

Why does Virginia Tech offer mediation and other conflict resolution opportunities to members of the university community?

> Conflicts are part of life’s experiences and can have positive value.

Conflict is not the exception, it is the norm; it is familiar to everyone. Conflicts have meaning and purpose. When disputants understand this meaning, they have an opportunity to understand their own goals better and find nondestructive means of achieving them.

> The peaceful expression of conflict within the campus community is a positive value.

Perhaps the easiest way for a campus community to assist in the resolution of conflict is to advocate for its early and peaceful expression, not waiting until it has escalated and can no longer be avoided before taking action.

> Combining individual and campus/community acceptance of responsibility for a conflict is a positive value.

The campus community can demonstrate its willingness to share responsibility for conflict resolution by making available to persons in conflict, a team of competent and trained mediators who volunteer to work with other members of the Virginia Tech community. However, the mediators must always place the responsibility on the disputants for the actual expression and resolution of the conflict. By establishing a new program, like a mediation services center on campus, the community is maintaining a vital mechanism for the direct expression and reduction of conflicts.

> The voluntary resolution of conflict between disputants is a positive value.

We can model advantages of cooperation and mutual responsibility-taking, if we keep participation strictly voluntary and work toward jointly constructed agreements that address the needs of both parties.

> Campus diversity and tolerance for differences are positive values.

The mediation process can be used to model respect for diversity and may help provide a space where disputants can learn to understand, respect, and accept differences.

> There can be benefits derived from being in a conflict.

If a conflict is handled well it can:

  • Stimulate creativity and problem solving
  • Foster teamwork and improves social relationships
  • Encourage listening
  • Provide a way to express emotions which can clear the air and relieve tension

 


Contact Us

For more information about the Conflict Resolution Program, contact Dale Robinson at 540-231-1824.


Listen to Learn More About the Program

Conflict Resolution Podcast

Length: 08:27

Refresh: Needs Flash: Flash MP3 Player

Workshops

View a list of upcoming Conflict Resolution workshops.


Dealing with conflict

Hokie Wellness provides several resources to help those experiencing conflict. Learn more about what to do when conflict occurs. 


Our partners

Learn more about our informal dispute resolution partners.