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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

Feel free to call Dale Robinson at 540-231-1824 and he will answer any questions, work with you to clarify your needs, and determine if we can be helpful to you. 


Listen to Learn More About the Program

Conflict Resolution Podcast

Length: 08:27

Refresh: Needs Flash: Flash MP3 Player

Workshops

Any season is a good time to arrange for a departmental workshop. To schedule a workshop please contact Dale Robinson at 540-231-1824.

New workshops include: 

  • Understanding Ourselves and Our Multicultural Dynamics - Fall 2014; and 
  • Email, Your Career, and Your Organization

To learn more about these exciting new workshops, please visit our conflict resolution workshops page.

The Managing Conflict workshop offered through the University Organizational and Professional Development (UOPD) program will be presented again February 18, 2014. Register Now!


What you can do when conflict occurs


Stressed out from conflict?

We know that dealing with conflict can be stressful. The Human Resources Health and Wellness team has resources available to help you. Be sure to check out the Hokie Wellness Multimedia section. 


In the News

Mediation Partnership

Virginia Tech and the Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) are continuing to collaborate in a mediation partnership to provide mediation services to state employees in our region.The program began in 2009. 


Our Partners in Informal Dispute Resolution