Learn Dispute Management and Resolution
Study dispute management and conflict resolution by distance learning. Disputes and conflict arise when disagreement occurs between different parties. It takes a special skill set and patience to be able to moderate and resolve in such situations. By understanding more about the nature of conflict and how to deal with diversity we can learn to develop the negotiation skills necessary to bring about or encourage an equitable conclusion.
This course specifically looks at the management of conflict and anger, whilst adding motivation which provides more insight into what internal and external influences affect behaviour. We have also included modules on relationship counselling and ethics which will broaden the scope of a students studies by looking at longer term issues and impacts.
With this course you will:
- Learn to develop the right technique to mediate and manage disputes.
- Understand the right approaches to reaching appropriate compromises or resolutions in situations of conflict.
- Learn how to deal with anger and diffuse situations.
- Course Duration: Approximately 600 hours of self paced study.
The Certificate in Mediation and Dispute Resolution comprises 6 modules, as follows (please click on the module title for further details on each):
- Conflict Management BPS201
- Anger Management BPS211
- Motivation VBS111
- Relationships and Communication Counselling BPS208
- Legal Terminology BWR108
- Ethics BPS217
SO WHAT IS CONFLICT?
Conflict is a state of discord, where there is perceived or actual opposition to our interests, needs or values. Some types of conflict include:
- Wars involving the use of force, known as armed conflicts
- Social disagreements
- Conflict of interests
- External conflicts, between two or more individuals
- Internal conflict, within ourselves
Conflict Handling Techniques
In many conflict situations we can choose how to behave and how to respond. It is well worth reflecting on some of the most common ways of handling conflict because this will increase our awareness of possible responses. It will also enable us to check out our usual reactions and consider whether they are appropriate for what we are trying to achieve in a particular situation.
The Conflict Management model and how behaviours interrelate is as follows:
Conflict Handling Styles
The main styles which can be adopted to handle conflict include: competing, accommodating, soothing, avoiding, compromising, or joint problem solving.
This is assertive and uncooperative. It involves an individual pursuing their own concerns at another person’s expense. This is the opposite of accommodation, ensuring that your own needs are met, no matter what the cost. This is a win-lose approach, which is useful if there is a tight deadline or your relationship with the other party is not important. This is a power oriented mode in which one uses whatever power seems appropriate to win one’s own position, including one’s ability to argue, one’s rank, or economic sanctions. Competing might mean standing up for your rights, defending a position which you believe is correct, or simply trying to win.
This style is unassertive and cooperative; often tantamount to giving in. A soothing individual attempts to preserve the relationship at all costs, emphasising areas of agreement and failing to confront thorny issues.
Avoiding is unassertive and uncooperative. It is useful if there is not a pressing need to resolve differences in the present or the future. The individuals concerned may be indifferent to the needs of the other party and their issues or ignore them completely. This is not a useful long-term management strategy, as it does not lead to a solution generally. The individual does not immediately pursue his/her own concerns or those of the other person. He/she does not address the conflict. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping the issue, postponing the issue till a later/better time or simply withdrawing from a threatening position.
This style is intermediate between assertiveness and cooperativeness. It has some assertiveness and some cooperation. The objective is to find expedient, mutually acceptable solutions which partially satisfy both parties, it falls in the middle ground between competing and accommodating. It addresses issues more directly than avoiding, but it doesn't explore it in as much depth as in joint problem solving. Compromising might mean "splitting the difference", exchanging concessions, or speaking a quick middle ground position. It may also mean giving up some ground to gain ground elsewhere. With this situation, with some you win, with some you lose. This is a useful conflict management strategy if there is a limited time available, but if there is more time to explore issues more fully it is not necessarily useful. A compromise is also useful when one party cannot force their solution on to the other party.
Accommodation is a non-assertive and cooperative method. With accommodation, another person’s needs may be met, but this usually occurs at the expense of your own. This is a useful conflict management strategy if the individual does not care about the issue nor has little power in the situation. Also, sometimes, by letting the other party have heir way occasionally, it can help to preserve or build a relationship. However, being too accommodating can weaken the individual’s position.
Joint Problem Solving or Collaboration
This is both assertive and cooperative, the opposite of avoiding. It involves an attempt to work with the other person to find some mutually satisfying solution. It means digging into an issue to identify the underlying concerns of the two individuals and to find an alternative which meets both sets of concerns. Joint problem solving might take the form of exploring a disagreement, in order to learn from each other’s insights. This requires some skill and effort and assumes a positive intent and seeing things from all sides with detail. The idea is to acknowledge and accept the differences of others, and explore strategies and solutions that meet the needs and concerns of all parties.
Few of us understand how communication works, and how much it contributes situations and relationships. As few of us take the time to work on improving our communication skills, or break established patterns of negative communication the opportunities for communication problems and misunderstanding are enormous.
By looking at conflict and teaching you to understand how issues arise and how to deal with these you will develop and understanding of approaches to adopt and techniques to apply. Elements such as communication are more varied than you may think and you will find that they are subjects that we return at different points in the course.
This course is intended to benefit students from various backgrounds, from managers seeking to improve their management abilities, through to those running their own business or individuals looking to embark on a career in this field.
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