Dickinson College wants to encourage an atmosphere where life's everyday conflicts can be successfully resolved in a respectful and productive manner. To this end, Conflict Resolution Resource Services offers education and training, conflict coaching for individuals, mediation services and library-based resources to all members of the Dickinson College Community.
Conflict is a part of everyday life. There are certainly times when the wisest way to handle a conflict is to walk away until the parties calm down. In most cases, however, a conflict that is simply avoided will not solve itself.
People tend to approach conflict with a "win-lose" mindset. Unfortunately, this often perpetuates a cycle, as today's "loser" waits for an opportunity to retaliate. The successive conflicts often tend to escalate as well, until people are arguing about the argument, and no longer focusing on a problem that can possibly be solved.
Conflicts can strain or damage relationships. Interpersonal conflict affects other people as well, drawing in friends, colleagues, or co-workers as the parties to a dispute seek allies and want others to take sides.
We've all heard the phrase "win-win." In conflict situations, it isn't always easy to achieve a win-win situation, but it is certainly possible and often worth the effort. With experience, individuals can gain the tools and temperament to solve problems and conflicts with a win-win approach.
Sometimes when faced with a conflict situation, it is useful to have a neutral and confidential resource, someone with whom to discuss approaches to conflict resolution, consider options, or clarify the underlying issue that is most important to you. The Conflict Resolution Resource Service offers educational sessions at the request of faculty, employee training, "coaching" sessions and mediation services to students, staff, faculty and administrators. CRRS has also created a collection of print and audio books at the Dickinson College library.
For additional perspectives and resources on conflict resolution in higher education settings, visit Campus Conflict Resolution Resources.