Managing Conflict

As our courts are filled with more and more people suing each other over seemingly trivial matters, local governments have initiated community-based medication programs to relieve some of the stress of overcrowded court dockets.  They’ve been successful in bringing neighbors together to find resolution to their conflicts and disputes.  So, why shouldn’t local governments apply these same techniques to issues they face when stakeholder elements disagree over proposed public policy and civic projects?

  • How do cities deal with anger, conflict and threats of litigation directed toward changes in public policy? 
  • What can cities do to “improve the quality of conflict?” 
  • When is it appropriate and possible for staff and elected officials to intervene in public disputes and help manage disagreements?
  • How can community leaders restore a sense of civility and Organic Trust ™ to their communities?
  • What can public officials do to create the environment where controversy can result in consensus?

The Institute for Community Involvement, LLC created a provocative, interactive training program for elected officials and city managers that will test your CQ (conflict quotient) and stretch your understanding of conventional conflict management processes.  The focus is on creating clear expectations, and then negotiating and managing those expectations over the long term.  The human dynamics of conflict is center-stage, but the institutional foundations for managing controversy underpins the entire day.

From this program policy-makers and public managers will gain insights to help them avoid unproductive anger, acrimony, turmoil and conflict, and redirect controversy in a positive, productive way. For more information click on

Resolving Public Disputes and Community Conflicts

This interactive workshop session helps participants learn to develop sustainable agreements with stakeholder communities. Emphasis is placed on building community partnerships. The concepts and principles shared in this course are drawn from the best, most current information on public involvement and multiple stakeholder mediation. No single approach is advocated, but rather, participants are challenged to develop a personal tool box of techniques from the materials presented.

The course offers an excellent opportunity for participants to safely experiment with conflict resolution and management tools. Here they can test their skills, evaluate reactions and share learning with others in similar situations gaining understanding of the reasons conflict exists, how controversy is triggered and ways to channel conflict and resolve it.

The course gives participants an understanding of, and the skills to manage organizational and community-based conflict. Learning outcomes include:

- an understanding of why personal conflict occurs;
- the features of community / institutional conflict;
- tools and techniques for managing conflict in a public sector and community-based environment;
- opportunities to safely experiment with the application of conflict management tools and techniques, and by doing so, anchor the skills learned.

Questions answered by this course include:

What are the differences between community mediation, community-based planning and public involvement?

What qualities or features of community conflict make disputes so difficult to resolve?

What can local governments do to identify, isolate and analyze community conflict?

What tests might local governments conduct to learn whether communities desire resolution to disputes?

What techniques might local government staff and policy-makers use to manage and resolve community conflict?

In what circumstances might community-based planning and involvement be helpful in your communities?

Under what circumstances might you want to use community mediation techniques?

How might you use the tools and techniques in your community?

What role should residents play in conflict resolution?    

© LL Decker & Associates, Inc 2014