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Conflict Resolution Program

Conflict Resolution Pilot Program picture collage

“Even when we are working effectively within a community, we can always do better.”
                - Lorig Charkoudian, Executive Director at Community Mediation Maryland

The Office of Human Resources & Institutional Equity is introducing 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, proactive approach to resolving conflicts and disputes in the workplace. This program will create opportunities for staff and faculty to have difficult conversations in a manner that allows each individual to be heard and to be better understood while building a common foundation for moving forward with a healthy, civil working relationship. 

Conflict is an inevitable part of life that arises out of disagreement between individuals when they perceive a threat to their needs. We experience conflict in every stage of our life and the ability to handle it effectively and peacefully is not necessarily intuitive. We see conflict as a natural and normal part of the human experience, and when used effectively conflict can be a tool for positive change. We are ready to assist. 

3 Steps to the Conflict Resolution Program

3 Steps flyer

Conflict Resolution Program FAQ’s

What is conflict resolution?

Conflict resolution is an informal process that two or more parties use to find a peaceful solution to their dispute.

What is the purpose of Tulane’s Conflict Resolution Program?

Conflicts are, to a great extent, predictable. Tulane’s Conflict Resolution Program was created as an alternative option for addressing conflict and disputes in the workplace. 

What are the benefits of utilizing the Conflict Resolution Program?
  • Earlier problem identification
  • Better problem solving
  • Builds healthy relationships and morale
  • Improved productivity in the workplace
  • Personal growth and insight
  • Develop skills to assist in future conflicts
  • Fast, flexible, informal, and private 
Who is eligible to participate in conflict resolution?

The Conflict Resolution Program is available to all faculty and staff. All questions or request for services may be directed to Wendy Firven Smith @ 504-247-1778 or wsmith20@tulane.edu

*All persons involved in mediation must be employees of the university.

When should I use the Conflict Resolution Program?
  • If you would like to talk confidentially about a situation.
  • If you need help communicating with someone because you feel that your independent attempts to address the conflict have not been successful.
  • If you are unsure of the policies or procedures that apply to your specific problem or issue.
  • If you have interpersonal concerns about your supervisor and/or a co-worker and you do not know where to turn next.
  • If you would like to know what resources or options are available.
What we do offer:
  • What we offer: Impartiality and neutrality by listening and not taking sides.
  • What we offer: Confidentiality by keeping conversations private and in strict confidence unless there is an imminent threat of serious harm to ones-self or others.
  • What we offer: Facilitated communication or dialogue.
  • What we offer: A review of options and exploration of solutions.
  • What we offer: Aid in developing communication skills.
  • What we offer: Provide referrals.
  • What we offer: Departmental and group trainings.

* Some issues may not be appropriate for mediation. A determination of the appropriateness will be made by the conflict resolution specialist.

What we do not do:
  • We do not: Take sides or determine outcomes.
  • We do not: Participate in legal procedures.
  • We do not: Conduct investigations.
  • We do not: Accept formal grievances.
  • We do not: Make decisions or mandate changes to policy.
  • We do not: Tell people what they should do.

*The conflict resolution specialist reserves the right to decline any mediation request that is inconsistent with the intent or resources of the program.

How do I request a consultation or mediation?

You will need to contact Wendy Firven Smith at 504-247-1778 or wsmith20@tulane.edu.

 

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.