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The Campus Conflict Workshop Series - Fall 2021 - Spring 2022

Campus Conflict Workshops with The Center for Dispute Resolution.Build your conflict and communication skills at the Center for Dispute Resolution’s free noon sessions in the “Campus Conflict Workshop Series.”

Once a month during the noon hour Missouri State faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend these free interactive 1-hour sessions focused on various aspects of communication and conflict management. Expert presenters will encourage you to explore a variety of topics as you build your skills. All sessions qualify for Master Advisor credit.

Pre-registration is not required, but we encourage you to RSVP to receive event reminders and resources in advance. All sessions qualify for Master Advisor credit.

Join online or enter Zoom code 968 8659 7964.

Managing and Surviving Challenging Conversations

Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 12-1 p.m. via Zoom - Presented by Ms. Nora Cox , Senior Instructor, Department of Communication

In our increasingly polarized society, discussing political issues or any difficult topic can be uncomfortable, stressful, and challenging. However, there are ways to discuss differences with respect while searching for common ground and affirming the importance of relationships. This workshop will help you learn how to survive challenging conversations, particularly with people whose opinions differ from your own. 

View a Recording of this Session

Managing Intergenerational Conflict

Tuesday, October 12, 2021, 12-1 p.m. via Zoom - Presented by Dr. Erin Wehrman, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication

We feel the impact of generational differences in the workplace, in the classroom, and in our personal lives. In age-diverse groups, tensions around competing values, mismatched behavioral expectations, and varying identity issues can result in miscommunication and conflict. This workshop will explore common intergenerational differences that impact communication and identify strategies to help you manage the conflicts that may result.

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Trauma-Informed Communication and Conflict Management

Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 12-1 p.m. via Zoom - Ms. Teri Hargrave, Program Coordinator, Office of Dispute Resolution & Family Court Programs, 7th Circuit

You may not realize it, but you interact with people who have survived trauma every day. These are individuals who have been through experiences that caused intense physical and psychological stress reactions. (For example, over the last year many people have experienced trauma as a result of COVID-19). Often the trauma experienced by individuals can have lasting adverse effects on their physical, social, and emotional well-being, impacting how they interact with others and experience the world. This session will explore how to a foster a healthier workplace and classroom environment and culture by using trauma-informed communication and conflict management to understand and successfully engage with people who have been impacted by trauma.

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De-escalation Strategies in Conflict

Wednesday, January 26, 2022, 12-1 p.m. via Zoom - Presented by Ms. Molly Grisham,Owner, Lead Your Life

Managing conflicts is challenging enough on its own, but communicating with someone who is emotionally triggered, upset, or angry can be especially difficult, stressful, and even scary. In this session we will explore de-escalation strategies you can use in conflict situations when emotions are running high. Learn how to manage your own emotions to keep your rational mind engaged, as well as techniques for calming the other person down so you can communicate effectively with them

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Managing Conflicts in Groups and Teams 

Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 12-1 p.m. via Zoom - Presented by Dr. Carrisa Hoelscher, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, and Ms. Robbyn Rose, Communication Master's Student

Productivity in teams requires collaboration, and when great minds come together, conflict is likely to result. At times this conflict is energizing, but when conflict gets out of hand the work product (and everyone on the team) tends to suffer. This workshop will examine the common causes of conflict in teams and groups and explore how to manage conflict appropriately within the bounds of a cooperative team process.

Bullying in the Workplace

Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 12-1 p.m. via Zoom - Presented by Dr. Stephen Spates, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication

Bullying is common, often unrecognized, and damaging, and it impacts both workplace and campus settings. This session will discuss adult bullying behaviors, techniques for dealing with bullying, and prevention strategies.

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Listening skills to improve communication and conflict management

Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 12-1 p.m. via Zoom - Presented by Mr. Jay Howard, Instructor, Department of Communication

The majority of people think they are good listeners, but in truth few of us are. Listening is powerful skill that impacts our ability to communicate and to manage conflict, and developing this skill requires focus and practice. This session will explore the role of listening in conflict management and focus on how you can become a better listener.

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"Deep Dive" In-Depth Workshops for Faculty and Staff

"Deep Dive" workshops are free for Missouri State faculty and staff, but seats are limited and pre-registration is required. In these expanded sessions participants can explore topics related to communication and conflict management in depth through lecture, discussion, and activities. These sessions are approved for Master Advisor credit. The CDR's Spring 2021 offerings include the following:

Feedback for Improvement

Two women in conversation.Tuesday, October 5, 2021, from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. via Zoom - Presented by Dr. Charlene Berquist and Ms. Heather Blades

Register now - seats are limited.

Constructive feedback can be a gift, but often the feedback we give is ineffective. This is particularly true when it comes to giving feedback on areas where improvement is needed, whether this feedback comes in the form of yearly reviews, ADPs, grading, etc. Others may dismiss our feedback, become angry and defensive, or feel frustrated and unsure of how to improve their performance. As a result relationships are damaged and valuable opportunities for growth are lost.

Giving effective feedback is an art, and this session will help you learn how to regularly provide constructive feedback that reinforces desired behaviors in others and identifies ways people can make positive changes.

In this interactive online session we will do the following:

  • Investigate the characteristics of effective and ineffective feedback.
  • Learn how our traditional approaches to giving feedback are often ineffective and even destructive.
  • Explore how people respond to feedback and why ineffective feedback is often rejected and fails to promote behavior change.
  • Practice giving effective feedback for improvement.
  • Examine our current approaches to giving feedback and make concrete plans for how we can provide others with effective feedback for improvement.

Using Circles to Encourage Dialogue and Build Community

group of people in a huddle joining hands

Wednesday, February 2, 2022, from 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. via Zoom -Presented by Dr. Charlene Berquist and Ms. Heather Blades

Register now - seats are limited. 

The “circle process” is a unique format for engaging with others. Most people are used to listening to lectures, attending meetings, or taking part in informal conversations. In contrast, circle practice is a structured form of intentional communication that allows participants an opportunity to speak and listen in an atmosphere of safety, equality, and empathy that encourages sharing and connection. This format allows deep dialogue to take place and helps to build community and enhance and strengthen connections between those taking part in the circle.

In this interactive online session we will do the following:

  • Examine the history and indigenous roots of circle practice.
  • Identify the roles, responsibilities, and tasks of a circle keeper/leader.
  • Learn how to design and lead effective circles by creating a safe environment where people can share.
  • Consider how circles may vary based upon the context in which they are used (e.g., in person vs. online, and in differing settings).
  • Explore how circles can be used in the classroom and within units, departments, and organizations to build relationships, provide effective and collaborative leadership, and enhance learning.
  • Learn experientially by taking part in a circle process.

Previous Workshop Topics

The list below exemplifies the types of workshops previously offered to the campus community:

  • Conflict in the Classroom - Classroom conflicts - from aggressive students to mismanaged disputes to group project meltdowns – are a major source of stress for those who teach. This session will explore the sources of classroom conflict and discuss classroom conflict management strategies.
  • Crucial Conversations - Often the most important conversations we have are the ones we dread the most. How do you talk with someone about a topic or issue that you know will likely result in a conflict? This workshop will focus on the best tactics to employ when you need to have a “crucial conversation."

  • Coping with Bullying in the Workplace - Workplace bullying is a common phenomenon that often goes unrecognized even though it can cause much personal stress and group conflict. This workshop will discuss bullying behaviors, techniques for dealing with bullying, and prevention strategies.

  • Multicultural Issues in Managing Conflict - This workshop will raise your awareness of multicultural issues in conflict as it explores resources, options, and strategies for addressing multicultural issues in managing conflict. Particular emphasis will be placed on developing practical communication skills when faced with multicultural issues in a conflict.

  • Speaking Up to Bias - How do you respond when you hear a prejudicial statement in the workplace or classroom? This workshop will explore ways of speaking up to bias without shaming, blaming, or alienating the speaker. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own examples to the session.

  • Apology and Forgiveness - Conflict can disrupt relationships in both personal and professional contexts. Granting forgiveness and saying “I’m sorry” after hurtful episodes can positively change the future of our relationships, but how do we get to this step? This workshop will explore common barriers to reconciliation and will outline techniques for granting forgiveness and for offering more effective apologies.

  • Men, Women, and Conflict - This workshop will explore the role that gender may play in conflict situations, including how gender may impact the way in which we perceive, interpret, and react to conflict situations.

  • Conflict with Health Care Providers - Conflict with a health care providers can result in frustration and poor quality of care. This session will explore the main causes of conflict with health care providers, discuss how conflict differs depending on the type of health care provider, and offer strategies for how to manage these conflicts.

  • How Leaders Manage Conflict - Conflict and leadership go hand-in-hand. However, few leaders are trained to manage the conflicts that are inevitable part of their role. This session will explore leadership styles and the ways in which leaders can skillfully manage the conflict.

  • Addressing Conflict Effectively - Conflict is natural and unavoidable, and the way we manage it can make it a positive or negative force in our lives. This session explores the nature and causes of conflict, as well as how to address and manage conflict.

  • Personality Types and Conflict - Although conflict with others is inevitable, resolving conflict is easier when you understand the impact that a person’s personality type has on their reactions and perceptions. The session investigates how various personalities respond to conflict and the implications of various personality types on conflict situations.

  • Problem Students, Problem Parents: There’s Almost Always at Least One! Resolving Conflicts in Advising - Conflict is natural and unavoidable in any context, yet it may be particularly challenging and impactful in advising relationships. This session explores the nature of conflicts in academic advising, as well as strategies for addressing and resolving these conflicts.

  • Managing Emotions and Diffusing Anger -The emotional nature of conflict can be uncomfortable, and emotions can themselves be a cause of conflict. This session delves into the role emotions play in conflict and addresses how we can manage emotions to better address the conflicts we encounter.

  • Conflict During the Holidays - The holidays are meant to be a joyous time, but too often they become a source of stress and conflict for families, couples, and friends. This final session in the conflict series provides concrete advice for handling holiday conflict.

  • Overview of Conflict - Conflict is a natural and unavoidable part of life, and the way we react to conflict can make it a negative or positive force in our lives. This workshop will explore the nature and causes of conflict in the university workplace. You will come to better understand the conflicts you face, uncover your own "conflict style," and identify ways to address conflict productively.

  • Coaching - We all face our own conflicts, but helping others resolve the conflicts in their lives can be even more challenging! This session will discuss coaching strategies to help you assist others, and yourself, as you encounter both simple and complex conflicts. Learn concrete strategies that you can employ to assist yourself and others to manage conflicts before they escalate.

  • Managing Conflict within Your Department - Managing conflicts in a university environment is a departmental affair. This session will address ways that department members can work together to prevent, manage, and resolve the conflicts that will naturally arise. Learn how to identify patterns of conflict in your department as well as techniques your department can use to work together to face and manage conflicts in a productive and positive way.