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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Conflict Consultation
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 Office of Outreach, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity (ODEO)

Our Programs
The Cooperative Resolution Program (CRP)
Conflict Consultation

Conflict consultation is the opportunity to work one-on-one to assist in addressing specific conflicts in the workplace or general conflict competency. Conflict consultation is confidential.

Objectives:
• Identify goals in managing conflict
• Identify potential barriers to these goals
• Determine the steps to attain those goals
• Examine habitual behaviors that may cause conflict
• Improve communication skills to reduce the harmful impact of conflict

The first step is to identify the goals to the specific conflict situation - the importance of the relationship and the issue at hand. Next, we need to identify potential barriers in achieving these goals. These barriers can be many - different working styles, perceptions, knowledge, etc. Once we have this understanding, we can establish an approach to achieve these goals. Sometimes, we provide self-assessment exercises to help people become familiar with their own behavioral tendencies. We may not even realize that our everyday behavior which is comfortable to us may influence the development of conflict.

The world is complex and you can be angry and frustrated over issues, but so can someone else - for different reasons. Understanding their perspective does not mean you have to abandon your own perspective or feelings. We advise not to persuade someone to agree with your perspective, but to try to understand why they feel the way they do. Ask how they see it differently.

Next, we will review and may modify communication skills that will facilitate the achievement of these goals. We emphasize that addressing conflict with an open mind is an opportunity to learn, rather than a barrier to productivity and efficiency. A positive attitude can make all the difference.

If you have concerns about how to address a conflict or just a simple communication issue (i.e. I don't know how to say it), we can help you.


Last Modified: 12/4/2014
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