Showing posts with label Office Conflict. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Office Conflict. Show all posts

Monday, February 18, 2019

6 Ways for Higher Education Faculty and Staff to Handle Conflict in Their Department

I know that you get along with everyone right? Wrong! I will almost promise you that you will not get along with everyone all of the time. As a millennial, I am in a workplace (higher education) in which I do not have many peers. I am in my mid-30s and most of my peers are in their 50s and 60s. As a black professor, I do not see many people who look like me who do what I do on campus each day (teaching). 

When differences are evident, this means that disagreements can happen. We have to be prepared for these disagreements ahead of time and to mentally be alert to HOW we are reacting to situations and people. 

Recently, I read an article in Entrepreneur that can be applied to the higher education environment as well. "How to Handle Office Conflict" focused on six ways that employers can address office conflict amongst their employees. These strategies can also be applied to student affairs and the tenure track process.

1 - Confront It - Sometimes when we disagree with someone and we do not address the conflict when it arises, it can become worse. For instance, if you have to work on a group project with someone and you are taking more of the responsibility, this means that you need to address this responsibility inequity with your research or student affairs partner!

2 - Know When to Cut Ties - When you are working on a research project with someone and they do not hold up their end of the research bargain, you can cut your ties with your research partner. Sometimes, it is VERY difficult to do so, but in the long run it can save you months of anguish!

3 - Take It Outside - When you address the issue, you need to have in face-to-face and in an open, private place. This means, maybe a table on the patio of the building or perhaps in the library coffee shop, but address the conflict in neutral space.

4 - Embrace It - Know the the conflict exists, acknowledge it and converse about the conflict!

5 - Keep It Constructive - When you converse about the conflict, you need to stay focused on the topic at hand. Sometimes, when a conflict occurs it is easy to think about other items that are affected BY the conflict. AVOID this!

6 - Designate a Mediator - Think about involving someone who is not in your department and perhaps not in your academic college. Faculty conflict and conflict amongst student affairs professionals is very common, but address the conflict before it becomes a larger issue.

Okay guys, resolve the conflict and get stuff done! 

Oh and by the way, here's another resource for you:


J. Edwards

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Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
Higher Education Speaker and Researcher

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