How to Start the Conversation You're Afraid of: Conflict Management
The Introduction to Conflict and Conflict Management Lab is intended to help you better understand what conflict is, why it happens, how we tend to respond to it, and how to prevent, reduce, or better manage it. There are two things true about conflict: 1. It is an unavoidable part of our personal, professional, and public lives, and 2. We tend to be uncomfortable with conflict. It scares us. We tend not to feel very competent in dealing with it. We want it to go away. The good news is, we can learn to become more conflict-competent and more conflict-comfortable. With a combination of lecture, discussion, and experiential exercises, we will explore the different kinds of conflict, our individual conflict styles, the different sources of conflict and the importance of understanding the source of a conflict, and skills that are helpful in preventing, minimizing, and resolving conflicts.
Conflict is typically not something we like or want to be dealing with but by participating in this lab, you will:
• Develop a better understanding of conflict and become more conflict-friendly and conflict-able
• Understand the importance of assessing the source of a conflict
• Improve your ability to prevent, minimize, and resolve conflicts
• Take away a list of resources for continuing your conflict resolution education
Meet Your Lab Leaders:
Jesse Laird is a Portland native. He earned graduate degrees in conflict resolution and human rights education at Portland State University and the University of San Francisco (respectively). Since 2008 he has taught interdisciplinary courses in the humanities and social sciences for the University of Louisville, Northwest Indian College and Concordia University, Portland. Right now Jesse is homesteading off-the-grid with his wife, Kristine. They are both interested in self-reliance and mutual aid.
Tim Hicks directed and taught in the Master's degree program in Conflict and Dispute Resolution at the University of Oregon from 2006 to 2014. Prior to that, Tim was a mediator in private practice for 14 years. Tim left UO at the end of 2014 to return to private practice. He works in three primary sectors - family and divorce, workplace/organizational, and multi-party, environmental/public policy. He also consults with and provides training for businesses and organizations in conflict management. Tim is the co-author the book "The Process of Business/Environmental Collaborations: Partnering for Sustainability" (2000) and author of "Another Look At Identity-Based Conflict: The Roots of Conflict in the Psychology of Consciousness" (Negotiation Journal, Vol. 17, #1, January 2001); Barriers to the Use of Mediation in Environmental Dispute Resolution (1997); Embodied Conflict: Perspectives on the Neurophysiology of Conflict (forthcoming); and Last Stop Before Tomorrow (2015), a novel that tackles the subject of climate change.