graduate certificate in conflict resolution

About the author : Valerie Dansereau

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll be exposed to conflict at some point. People have personality clashes, different backgrounds and often have widely different opinions about work-related tasks. People who have the training and skills to deal with conflict in the workplace are in high demand in many work environments. A good way to learn these valuable skills is by pursuing a graduate certificate in conflict resolution.

Learning What Triggers Conflict

It’s important to improve your ability to recognize conflict and to know when it’s time to intervene. One of the things you’ll learn when you work toward a graduate certificate in conflict resolution is the many things that may trigger conflict.  Common causes of workplace conflicts include:

  • Lack of clearly defined roles
  • Misunderstandings about the nature of a task or the goals staff members are working toward
  • Lack of sufficient resources
  • Personality clashes
  • Unconscious bias

Too many managers try to ignore conflict and hope it will resolve itself. Ignoring workplace conflict is rarely the best option and if things continue to worsen, it may become a toxic environment that has a negative effect on everyone who works in your company or department.

Communication Skills

Communication skills are important for people in every job. Poor communication or lack of communication between peers can trigger conflict, and when managers fail to clearly communicate needed information for staff to effectively do their jobs, it can trigger tension and unhappiness among staff.

Communication skills are invaluable and are often the key to effective leadership. People often mistakenly believe that good communication skills come naturally, and that you either have them or you don’t, but communication skills can be learned.

When you pursue a graduate certificate in conflict resolution, you can sharpen the communication skills you already have and begin to acquire new skills. Some skills that may be covered include emotional intelligence, active listening and nonverbal communication skills.

Resolving Conflicts

There are different approaches that may work in resolving conflict. For you to help bring about a positive resolution, each person involved in a conflict needs to be able to talk about how they see the problem. They need to be able to express themselves without interruption and they want to feel like they’re being heard.

A graduate certificate in conflict resolution gives you a chance to learn the skills needed to resolve conflict, such as negotiation and mediation. You need to learn to project a positive attitude and keep your emotions under control while brainstorming possible solutions.

Conflict sometimes causes communication to break down to a point in which a peaceful resolution may seem impossible. If this happens, you may need the help of an organization that specializes in finding peaceful resolutions for disputes or a coach who specializes in conflict resolution.

Ongoing Learning in Leadership Skills

Effective leadership requires an ongoing commitment to learning how to deal with new and challenging situations. This may include interacting with people who may be hostile or bullies, and you may have to have some difficult conversations. As you learn new skills, practicing them with peers through role-playing can make these skills more familiar and easier to use when needed.

Conflict can sometimes be constructive when people raise different perspectives and look for ways to find a common ground. When handled in a positive and respectful way, it provides opportunities for learning and growth. When conflicts don’t work themselves out, having the skills to help bring about a peaceful resolution can make a big difference. Pursuing a graduate certificate in conflict resolution can make you a valuable asset to any organization, which may benefit you in your current role or open the door to new and better opportunities.

To learn more about certification in peaceful leadership, reach out to Peaceful Leaders Academy.

About the author : Valerie Dansereau