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Conflict Resolution

Group of People Sitting and Speaking

The Office for Equity and Accessibility offers several informal conflict resolution processes and trainings designed to transform even most challenging conflict interactions into opportunities for growth, connection and dialogue.  We work with individuals, small groups and whole university departments or communities. Our specialty are conflicts which involve identity, equity, inclusion and accessibility issues.  Please, contact us to see if we could assist with your conflict situation.  

Conflict Coaching is an opportunity to informally discuss your conflict situation with an experienced conflict coach.  Conflict Coaching can be useful for:  

  • Seeing the conflict situation in a new way
  • Developing effective communication strategies
  • Brainstorming options for moving forward.  
Mediator Looks Over as Two People Shake Hands

Mediation is a facilitated conversation between two or more people in conflict.  OEA mediators will not make decisions on who is right or wrong, but rather will create space for open and authentic dialogue between the parties.  

Group Conflict Facilitations are custom-designed processes enabling large groups of individuals to have difficult conversations, build consensus, and to create a more collaborative and inclusive cultures.  

Diverse Group of People Talking
A group of people standing

Moving from Conflict to Collaboration is a highly customizable  conflict resolution training which takes the inside out approach to conflict and conflict resolution and focuses on developing and honing core conflict resolution and conflict management skills.  

Four Stones on a Beach

Are you willing to look inward to dis-solve conflict in your life?  This is the fundamental question and invitation posed by the Dis-Solving Conflict from Withintm training.  Dis-Solving Conflict from Withintm is a revolutionary, mindfulness-based conflict coaching tool.  The Dis-Solving Conflict from Within training teaches how to experience conflict differently and how to utilize the Dis-Solving Conflict from Withintm tool to be able to respond to internal and extrernal conflicts with clarity, strength, and ease.    

VT Students Talking

Making Friends and Influencing People 2.0 is a transformative course which teaches how to integrate principles of compassionate and non-violent communications, deep listening, and consensus building into effective, efficient, and expansive professional interactions.  

OEA will maintain confidentiality regarding any issues which may come during informal conflict resolution.  The three exceptions to confidentiality are:  1) a threat of harm to another person that OEA staff reasonably believes may be carried out; 2) any allegation of abuse or neglect of a person under the age of 18; and 3) any allegations of ongoing discrimination which impact terms, priviliges, and/or condition of any person's (whether party to informal resolution or not) employment, education, or participation in University's activities.  

Mediation is a facilitated conversation between two or more people in conflict.  Mediators, unlike arbitrators, do not make decisions, provide findings, or issue recomendations on the merits of the matters in front of them.  Mediators always maintain neutrality and are there to simply create space for the parties to have whatever conversation they wish to have.  

While mediation can be appropriate and very helpful in many different situations, it is not appropriate in all cases.  Generally, mediation is not appropriate where there is a history of any kind of physical, sexual, or emotional violence or abuse between the parties.  Mediation is also not appropriate where any of the parties are unable to be in the same physical space with the other party or parties.  Please, contact our office to determine if your situation might be appropriate for mediation.  

Since mediation requires all parties to voluntarily participate in the process, noone, including a supervisor, could make anybody participate in a mediation.  

Generally, OEA requests that only the parties to the mediation be part of the mediation process.  If you require any kind of accommodations, please contact our office to discuss your needs.