Academic Leadership Support - University of Wisconsin - Madison Office of Quality Improvement

Conflict Resolution Menu

How to Use This Site

Welcome to the Conflict Resolution site! This site has been established through the joint efforts of the Office of Human Resource Development and Office of Quality Improvement at UW-Madison as a resource to enhance the skills of faculty, staff, and students as they seek to manage conflicts that occur in our campus community and build a positive campus climate. The site features several sections that we hope will be valuable to you:

  • About Conflict offers basic definitions and assumptions about conflict and related terms, as well as some core concepts that should be understood when addressing workplace disputes.
  • Common Problems poses several frequently asked questions, offering practical strategies for responding to them.
  • 8 Steps for Conflict Resolution outlines a useful process for responding to conflicts, including strategies for preparing to negotiate and determining whether an issue is appropriate for such an approach. These steps are linked to additional pages that provide more in-depth information.
  • Best Practices Have a Process provides examples of processes that are frequently successful in complex situations, disputes that should be addressed by a third party mediator, considerations for department chairs, and strategies for creating an affirming environment in which to negotiate.
  • Simulations, Exercises and Resources offers additional tools and processes that can enhance your understanding of conflict, video clips with further discussion of key issues, and a link to a discussion board that may expand our learning opportunities.

Conflict is a complex issue, one that naturally permeates all organizational and community life. In order to address conflict effectively, we need:

  • An attitude of respect towards those with whom we disagree;
  • A willingness to entertain new definitions of the issues at hand;
  • Sensitivity to cultural, gender, and personality differences that may influence perceptions of the needs of the parties; and
  • Attention to the development of communication and problem-solving skills.

While we recognize that conflicts cannot be addressed by simple advice, we hope this site serves as a resource that enhances your understanding of the challenges you face and connects you to other learning opportunities. Your feedback regarding this site is also welcome; please contact Harry Webne-Behrman ( of Office of Human Resource Development with your comments and suggestions.

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Conflict Resolution Menu