Conflict is inevitable, whether at home, at work, or at any level of partnerships in our lives. On March 4, the Center for Community Health Partnership and Research, as part of its Know Your Level of Community Engagement Series, will host an informative and interactive workshop: Know Your Level: Conflict/Resolution.
The event is also supported by Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, and the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis; and, the University of Missouri Extension.
Facilitators include University of Missouri Extension Community Engagement Specialist, Claire Rippel, MSW and St. Louis County Program Director-Urban Region, Dwayne T. James, PE also from the University of Missouri Extension. Read more about the facilitators.
“As we develop partnerships, be it with funders, organizational leaders or community partners, conflicts can arise,” says James. “Conflict can lead to partnerships not reaching their full potential, or at worst, dissolving, so it’s important to recognize the need for partners to discuss issues on all different levels. Recognizing that conflict is also part of the process helps both entities more easily work through problems in order to be successful as a partnership.”
What is your conflict style? Are you an avoider? A competitor? Why are you in the partnership in the first place? Rippel and James will invite workshop attendees to discuss various approaches to those difficult conversations surrounding conflict and strategies for achieving productivity.
Rippel says the workshop is important because “We hope to help people shift their perspective of conflict as something that might end a relationship to more of an opportunity to build trust and use communication that helps partners work better together.”
How do we deal with “tough” or “pushy” collaborators? Both Rippel and James agree that the workshop is an opportunity for self-improvement and self-reflection. “At the end of the day, it’s about our own style of approaching and working through conflict,” says Rippel. “We can’t control others. We can only control how we react and move through certain scenarios.”
“Figuring out where you are in the stages of conflict and how it is you go about managing communication in each stage are tools we can use at every level of our lives,” says James. “We hope this session will facilitate challenging conversations and apply problem-solving approaches to conflict.”