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Conflict Resolution Pilot Program

We are piloting a conflict resolution program to the Tulane community. The goal of this program is to build a workplace environment that is enriched by our differences. The program is designed to encourage our community to take a positive and proactive approach to resolving conflicts and disputes in the workplace. This program will create opportunities for staff and faculty to have difficult conversations, to be heard and better understood, and to build a common foundation for moving forward. 

Introduction to the Conflict Resolution Pilot Program

We experience conflict in every stage of our life and the ability to effectively and peacefully handle it is not necessarily intuitive. Therefore, the Conflict Resolution Pilot Program is here to assist. 

“Even when we are working effectively within a community, we can always do better.”
- Lorig Charkoudian

Why are we piloting a conflict resolution program?

Tulane is committed to building a cohesive, collaborative environment that fosters mutual respect and understanding between individuals and is enriched by our differences. Our conflict resolution pilot program offers consultation and training as an alternative approach to resolving conflict in an informal manner. The process is impartial, objective and aims to resolve conflict at the earliest opportunity.

What is conflict resolution?

Conflict resolution an informal approach to resolving conflict in the workplace in which a trained, neutral mediator facilitates a discussion between parties who have a disagreement and assists them in identifying a mutually acceptable resolution.

What are some examples of the kinds of situations that would be suitable for conflict resolution?

Examples: where a conflict resolution consultation may be appropriate include interpersonal differences, team conflict, a breakdown of a working relationship, communications challenges, as well as cultural and gender differences. 

What are the benefits of conflict resolution?

Consultation and conflict resolution introduces a powerful dynamic in resolving workplace disagreements. It enables people to restore and develop healthy working relationships. Workplace conflict resolution is optimal and non-fault finding. Any party can withdraw from the process at any time. The goal is for the people involved in a disagreement or dispute to negotiate their own mutually agreed upon solutions to the issues between them. The process of dispute resolution through a conflict resolution consultation has many advantages:

  • It is free and confidential. 
  • It is conducted in a fair and neutral manner.
  • Time and money are saved.
  • Cooperation is fostered.
  • Communication is improved.
  • The real issues of conflict can be discovered.
  • Solutions are created by the participants.
  • Opportunities for win-win solutions can be developed in the process. 
  • Working relationships can be improved.
Who can request a consultation?

Any employee of Tulane can request a conflict resolution consultation.

Ready to give it a try or just learn more?

Contact our Conflict Resolution Specialist, Wendy Firven Smith, at wsmith20@tulane.edu or 504-247-1778.

 

Meet Our Conflict Resolution Specialist 

Wendy Firven Smith, State Certified Mediator, joined our team in October as a Conflict Resolution Specialist. In this newly formed role, Wendy is jumping in with both feet to create processes and procedures to ensure the success of the program. She is not a stranger to building conflict resolution programs as she has vast experience mediating within the community, as well as cases between civilians and police officers for the City of New Orleans Office of the Independent Police Monitor. In addition to her six years of mediation experience, she has a background in psychology and higher education as an Adjunct Lecturer.  Read Wendy’s full bio.