Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution provides confidential and informal assistance to faculty and staff interested in resolving disputes without resorting to formal grievance or complaint processes. Human Resources utilizes alternative dispute resolution processes, including mediation, to provide informal assistance to promote trust, respect and civility within the campus community.

Conflict Resolution involves problem-solving approaches that view parties in dispute as individuals with a common problem to be solved jointly. This view rejects notions that parties in conflict are enemies and that disputes can only be resolved with one party winning and the other party losing.

In addition to problem-solving, conflict resolution processes also assist parties in identifying effective ways to interact after the dispute is resolved.

Mediation usually works in Conflict Resolution because:

Mediation is a process in which a neutral mediator assists individuals in conflict to discuss issues from their own perspectives and to develop a better understanding of their concerns from the perspectives of the other participants. The process includes identifying underlying issues, proposing alternatives, arriving at mutually acceptable agreements, and preserving important relationships. Mediation Services are available to faculty and staff through the Human Resources Department.

1. Informal—No grievance or complaint filling required.
2. Voluntary—Participation is never required.
3. An alternative to formal grievance, compliant and litigation processes.
4. Efficient—No investigations are conducted. Sessions are usually scheduled within a short time period and at the participants’ convenience.
5. Agreements may be reduced to writing. No other records or files are created.
6. Empowering—The power to resolve the dispute lies with the parties involved.

The Mediator’s role:

  • Neutral facilitator
  • Does not judge or conduct investigations
  • Manages the mediation process
  • Facilitator for meaningful communication
  • Facilitator who listens and helps clarify each party’s needs
  • Facilitator who does not determine outcomes
  • Assists parties in focusing on issues
  • Assists disputing parties with generating alternative solutions and reaching agreements

For more information, please view an informative video provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs that describes the mediation process.

For more information and further assistance with Conflict Resolution issues, please contact LaBratta Epting in the Human Resources Department at 850-474-2292.