Conflict Management

With head, heart, and hand!

The health, regulatory, and social responses to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) are unprecedented. Many people were taken by surprise and are still bewildered. Parents often need to juggle work and home responsibilities including support as learners’ transition from face-to-face to online learning. Our relationships might become tested as we spend time in isolation with family, friends, or roommates. Conflict is exacerbated and it can be challenging to learn to trust each other. People might think that others are not exercising adequate hand washing etc.  to limit COVID-19’s spread. It is important to be active at home and to regularly exercise. Keep in mind the old saying “use it or lose it”! Have faith in your capacity to remain healthy and to work through contentious issues. Lessen conflict and improve respectful and active communication with each other.  Please be kind to one another as you move step by step to address the challenges and opportunities ahead. This is a time to feature in quality time online or off with people who may be remote from you or that you have not been in contact with for some time. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding as we transition to online services to offer you phone, email, and chat, etc. support.


Advocacy, adjudication, bargaining, conciliation, mediation, negotiation, and withdrawal are examples of conflict management. Professionals in the field of conflict management often encourage parties in conflict, who share common relationships, to develop mutual ground or a shared narrative. Ideally this is to attain a workable outcome that parties can live with to resolve their disputes.

At times parties in dispute may require the assistance of an impartial mediator to achieve a sense of closure for all concerned. This process can be particularly helpful in situations involving groups such as:

  • couples and families;
  • employers and employees;
  • retailers and suppliers;
  • teenagers and parents;
  • victims and offenders;
  • wherever conflict is seen to exist, for example, between parties to a contract.

Family law and other related issues might become quite emotionally laden areas. Professionals who are involved with the area of conflict management could have varying styles, which can be shaped by their individual differences. Before interventions begin parties may sign agreements to the effect that what occurs in conflict management sessions is intended, for example, to remain confidential. Materials may include those that are taken from telephone, email, and face-to-face sessions between the parties and professionals. Policies and practices that are linked to conflict management may fluctuate between diverse jurisdictions.

Conflicts can occur when it is viewed that contracts have not been acted upon. There is merit should parties have conflicts they could give their written grievances to each other (CCH Commentary, 2012). Conflicts may arise if the seller does not deliver goods, or other types of legal rights as mentioned in the contract. The purchaser has a right to obtain the goods, or other forms of legal rights as indicated in the contract. Written and oral communications often include the contexts, issues in conflict and their preferred results.

Focus in conflict management and human rights seem to be on developing autonomy, liberty or peace. Deviant behaviours that disrupt peace could provide opportunities for individuals and communities to learn and to heal (Hassell, 1996, pp. 31-32). Conflict management strategies, including mediation, may be applied in formal or less official situations to address disputes (Barsky, 2000, pp. 185-186). A common theme that binds approaches to conflict management and human rights is giving parties the dignity of exercising personal or social choices. An individual’s or group’s opportunities to exercise personal or social choice may be limited by the law. However, at a central core individuals and groups might have some level of autonomy. Citations to the literature are available upon request.

“To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war” (Sir Winston Churchill).

The images in the slideshow on this page mainly show coastal wildlife from California. 

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