KSU Housing Podcast Episode: Conflict is Normal
Speaking on the Mediation Clinic and other workshops at the Center for Conflict Management
Conflict Is Normal: Live Your Nest Life
Podcast hosted by KSU Housing
KSU Housing and Residence Life invited Cody Wehlan, Graduate Research Assistant in
the Ph.D. in the International Conflict Management Program, to speak on behalf of
the Mediation Clinic at the Center for Conflict Management in the School of Conflict
Management, Peacebuilding and Development.
Can you tell us what resources are offered by the Center?
The Center for Conflict Management offers direct mediation services for KSU students, faculty, and staff, as well as a host of other resources. Workplace disputes, nonviolence resistance approaches, LGBTQ+ cultural competency, solution-seeking techniques for improving relationships, multigenerational workplace dynamics, working with ‘challenging people,’ understanding conflict styles, and how to establish healthy boundaries are some of the workshops offered at the Center. The available workshops that are provided at the Center for Conflict Management are a manifestation from the diverse passions of the students and faculty from the School of Conflict Management. The KSU community is welcome to contact the Center for workshops not currently available if they’re interested in a specific training not listed.
Can you give us a quick overview of the broad conflict styles that exist?
The 5 common conflict styles are, competing, avoiding, accommodating, compromising, and collaborating. Conflict styles change based on the context of the conflict. The Center helps teach different ways to navigate conflict effectively based on the need at the time. If you respond to conflict when it arises, you can have more influences, more control, and more confidence that the relationship can grow and thrive instead of losing the relationship from conflict.
Can you tell us about the Meditation Clinic? (a nice joke that arised in the podcast)
The Mediation Clinic (not to be confused by the ‘Meditation Clinic’) offers free mediation services to faculty, staff, and students facilitated by mediators who have undergone the mediation training approved by the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. Mediators are there to facilitate the process of discussion and help parties navigate to reach an agreement. "We'll happily expolore meditation too! That's great self-care!" Cody says with a laugh.
How has Covid-19 Impacted your work?
Although the workshops are traditionally conducted face-to-face, the Center for Conflict Management has conducted virtual trainings since March after the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution approved virtual workshops. The silver lining is that the Center can now reach more communities than ever before. Accessibility is also easier for students and attendees from all over the state of GA.
Do you have tips or advice for students on campus who may be navigating conflict for the first time in an environment where they may be living with the people who they’re having conflict with?
For students in shared spaces, pause and ask yourself, “How much of this is happening because of misunderstanding? How much am I assuming that they should know this about me? How much am I assuming about them?” Seeking support from the mediation clinic or trusted others to help navigate these misunderstandings before conflict increases or misunderstandings become habit. It becomes more difficult to have meaningful conversations after habits have become ingrained.
How would a KSU student learn more about the Center for Conflict Management?
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 470-578-6115.
We’d like to extend our sincere gratitude to KSU Housing and Residence Life for inviting us to speak on behalf of the Center for Conflict Management. We look forward to helping the KSU community in their search for conflict reconstruction!
Summarized by Nicole Connelly