- Expression of conflict is a healthy behavior that should not be ignored or stifled.
- Conflict is inevitable in coalitions and collaboratives. Decide upon negotiation process early.
- Conflicts can be avoided or minimized if goals and purposes are clearly articulated and familiar to all participants.
- Conflict resulting from power struggles can be minimized if all participants agree on how decisions are made and communicated and how outside stakeholders influence the process.
- Preserve the dignity and self-respect of all stakeholders.
- Listen to and validate all sides equally.
- Allow plenty of time for conflict negotiation and resolution.
- Never assume to understand the interests of parties involved in a conflict.
- Learn to explore the different types and causes of conflict, including past negative experiences, turf and authority issues, hidden agendas, and poor communication or misunderstandings.
- Use win/win strategies to resolving conflicts, as described in the literature listed below.
Online Resources and Tools
Center for Conflict Resolution
Consulting for business and individuals
Index of conflict-resolution sites
The Neighborhood Justice Center
Dispute resolution and legal services
Partners for Democratic Change
Provides services for change and conflict management training, commercial and community mediation, ethnic conciliation programs, development of university courses on conflict resolution and management.
Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiating
Conflict resolution models and theories, papers, programs and grants.
Resolving Conflicts at Work
Cloke, K and Joan Goldsmith (2005)
Keeping the Peace: Resolving Conflict in the Boardroom
Peters Angelica, M. (2000)
Conflict Guidebook Package
Center for Creative Leadership Press (2003)
Resolving Community Conflict
Ten tips for Managing Conflict, Tension and Anger
Additional tips positive communication in conflict
The Conflict Resolution Toolbox: Models and Maps for Analyzing, Diagnosing, and Resolving Conflict (Hardcover)
Furlong, Gary T (2005)
The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice (Hardcover)
Deutsch, Morton and Peter T. Coleman, Eric C. Marcus (2006)
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
Lencioni, Patrick (2002)
Organizations and Consultants
The Center for Civic Partnerships does not endorse any of the organizations or consultants listed below. These names are provided for informational purposes.
Kristin Timlin, Programs Coordinator
1540 Market Street, Suite 490
San Francisco, CA 94102
Tel: (415) 552-1250
Community Boards offers conflict management training with an interest-based approach. Consultants will work closely with organizations and tailor trainings to best suit particular needs. Trainings require 6-18 hours and topics may include: communication skills, negotiating skills, working with difficult people, power and authority issues and dynamics of organizational conflict. Community Boards will train a maximum of 50 participants per session. Training style is participatory and includes group discussion, role play, demonstrations and lectures. Service fee for non-profit organizations is $800.00/day (sliding scale based on ability to pay is negotiable).
The Interaction Institute for Social Change
Nate Lipscomp, Programs Coordinator
Tel: (415) 241-8000
600 Townsend Street, Suite 550
San Francisco, CA 94103
Interaction Institute for Social Change aims to "transfer the skills and tools of collaboration to non-profit organizations and neighborhood leaders who work to transform communities and to promote the spirit and practice of collaborative action." The Institute works closely with clients to design relevant trainings and workshops. Trainers are skilled in problem solving and conflict resolution but also have expertise in other areas including: meeting facilitation, collaborative planning, organizational change, coalition building and board and staff development. They offer public workshops ($350.00-$400.00/person) but will also work individually with organizations or partnerships.
Northern California Mediation Center
Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. and Nancy J. Foster, J.D.
100 Tamal Plaza, Suite 175
Corte Madera, CA 94925
Tel: (415) 927-1422
The Northern California Mediation Center offers trainings and seminars on techniques needed to mediate disputes in the workplace and in families. Training ranges from interest-based problem solving to family law mediation. While trainers Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. and Nancy J. Foster, J.D. offer communication and group skills building workshops, their main focus is legal and family mediation. Formal 40 hour seminars costs $875.00/participant and include training manuals, mediation forms, resource materials and articles. Other services are available on a sliding scale.
Sacramento Mediation Center
1418 20th Street, Suite 201
Sacramento, CA 95811
Tel: (916) 441-7979
The Mediation Center provides a 28-hour training in mediation skills to community members and also tailors trainings and facilitation services to organizations at request. The center has a small professional staff and over 120 trained and experienced volunteers. They generally work within the greater Sacramento area. Many communities have local mediation centers that offer free or low-cost services to local residents and community groups.
© Public Health Institute, Center for Civic Partnerships 2007
Back to top