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Thread: Conflict resolution

  1. #1
    Cyburbian gicarto's avatar
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    Conflict resolution

    I want to get some experience working in conflict resolution in planning disputes. Where would I start looking for these kind of opportunities?
    Trying to get my grubby hands on as much stimulus money as I can.:D

  2. #2
    Cyburbian spunky2's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gicarto
    I want to get some experience working in conflict resolution in planning disputes. Where would I start looking for these kind of opportunities?
    I would find some meetings that are facilitated and talk to the facilitators. Of course, I keep seeing the same three facilitators over and over again at the same meetings here in Vegas and in So Cal which leads me to believe that it is either a hard job to get or a job no one wants to do. Talk to a facilitator about it and tell us what they say!

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus
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    The Ohio APA Chapter in their fall (Sept) conference is going to have
    A professional development workshop on the topic of conflict resolution will precede the conference on Wednesday, the 28th.
    there is not much more info than that.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  4. #4

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    There are quite a few places where you can get a degree or certificate in conflict resolution, if you want. For hands on experience, you need to hang out around conflicts. The most organized conflict resolution I know about revolves around public lands issues.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    Lee hit the nail on the head.. if you want training, there's nothing like sitting in a tense room with people that are very pissed off. I do it every thursday and, while I think that i've aged more in the past 3 months than in the previous 3 years, i still have a much better handle on what is and isn't appropriate in highly tense settings.

    I really think that this was a part of my formal planning education that wasn't even remotely touched on. Luckily, I had some experience through internships that allowed me to be a bit prepared when i started working professionally, but if you've sailed through life, been relatively successful, had a good family and lots of friends and you haven't hit that many brick walls, having your first meeting with a very frustrated developer or sitting in a roomful of property rights activists can be a bit unnerving.

    I guess I'd love to get advice from those cyburbians that have been around for a while on how you deal with awfully pissed off people... whether in a private negotiation or sitting in front of a packed room...

  6. #6
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by vaughan
    I guess I'd love to get advice from those cyburbians that have been around for a while on how you deal with awfully pissed off people... whether in a private negotiation or sitting in front of a packed room...
    I have a talent in this area, mostly it's because I am so laid back. First of all, realize that you are in control of the situation. They need action of some sort from you. Make sure you know and can explain whatever they are mad about. Keep calm, some of the time they want to drag you down to their level. Don't go there, calmly keep restating you position. Other times the people just want someone to listen to them so practice active listening.

    I always say "what do you want me to do for you". Sometimes they may not have thought about this. You may or may not be able to do it, but if they state exactly what they want you can better explain why you cannot help them.

    Agree with the facts. You can always find something to agree with them about. Make sure you state this to them.

    Agree with their perception. "I know you feel that this regulation is unreasonable"

    I don't know why but I love dealing with mad people, it's a rush.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by vaughan
    I guess I'd love to get advice from those cyburbians that have been around for a while on how you deal with awfully pissed off people... whether in a private negotiation or sitting in front of a packed room...
    Kind of echoing some of what Giff said: The main thing that pissed off people need is to be "heard" and affirmed. Making someone FEEL like you have really heard them and you care requires you to do some of what Giff talked about: find something to agree on; use active listening (ie "So, let me see if I understand you. You are saying that....); use expressions like "I hear you" even if it is to say "I hear what you are saying but the law just isn't written that way. So I cannot do what you are asking."

    The absolute worst thing you can do is to refuse to "hear" or address their feelings as legitimate. It doesn't matter whether or not what they want you to do is reasonable, do-able, etc. Even if you have to tell them "No, sorry, I cannot do that.", the way to calm them down is to say "Yes, I do understand why you are mad. (etc)" Acting like someone is a nutcase for being upset is a good way to turn them into a frothing-at-the-mouth nutcase who may well hold a grudge and be ticked off at every future meeting no matter how "reasonable" you are.

    Here is a source of articles on dealing effectively with the public: linky to Citizen Planner's Toolbox entry.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Either go to school and take a class there or I am sure there's a conference that has a workshop related to it by the APA or your region.

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