How Schools Can Manage Conflict

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

Conflict between teachers can be a difficult issue for schools to manage. When two teachers are in conflict, it can affect the entire school community, including students, parents, and other staff members. 

However, with the right approach, schools can effectively manage conflict between teachers and create a positive working environment. 


Strategies to manage conflict in schools

Key strategies to manage conflict in schools include:

  • Acknowledge the conflict
  • Determine the cause of the conflict
  • Encourage open communication
  • Involve a neutral third party
  • Develop a plan for resolution
  • Encourage professional development
  • Create a positive working environment


Acknowledge the conflict

The first step in managing conflict between teachers is to acknowledge that the conflict exists. Schools should encourage teachers to speak up if they are experiencing conflict with another teacher. Once the conflict is acknowledged, the school can begin to work on a resolution.


Determine the cause of the conflict

Once the conflict is acknowledged, the next step is to determine the cause of the conflict. Schools should conduct a thorough investigation to gather all the facts and determine what is at the root of the conflict. 

This could involve talking to both teachers involved in the conflict, as well as other staff members who may have witnessed the conflict.


Encourage open communication

Effective communication is essential in resolving conflicts between teachers. Schools should encourage both teachers involved in the conflict to communicate openly and honestly with each other. This may involve providing mediation or counselling services to help both parties work through their issues.


Involve a neutral third party

In some cases, it may be necessary to involve a neutral third party to help resolve the conflict. This could be a professional mediator or a member of the school administration who is not directly involved in the conflict. 

The neutral third party can help both teachers work through their issues and find a resolution that works for both parties.


Develop a plan for resolution

Once the cause of the conflict has been identified and both parties have communicated their concerns, it is time to develop a plan for resolution. 

Schools should work with both teachers to develop a plan that addresses the underlying issues and helps to prevent similar conflicts from occurring in the future. This plan should be clearly documented and communicated to both parties.


Encourage professional development

In some cases, conflicts between teachers may be the result of different teaching styles or approaches. Schools can help prevent conflicts by encouraging professional development opportunities that focus on different teaching methods and approaches. 

By providing teachers with a variety of tools and resources, schools can help create a more collaborative and supportive working environment.


Create a positive working environment

Schools can help prevent conflicts between teachers by creating a positive working environment. This could involve providing regular opportunities for teachers to collaborate and share ideas, as well as providing resources and support for teachers who are struggling with a particular issue. 

By fostering a culture of teamwork and collaboration, schools can help prevent conflicts and create a more positive working environment for all teachers.


What are the 5 methods of conflict resolution?

 The 5 methods of conflict resolution are:

  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
  • Collaboration
  • Compromise


Negotiation

Negotiation involves a process of discussion and compromise between conflicting parties with the goal of reaching a mutually acceptable solution. It often requires active listening, empathy, and a willingness to find common ground.


Mediation

Mediation involves a neutral third party, the mediator, who facilitates communication and guides the conflicting parties in finding a resolution. The mediator helps identify the underlying interests and concerns of each party and assists in generating potential solutions.


Arbitration

Arbitration involves a neutral third party, the arbitrator, who listens to both sides of the conflict and makes a binding decision. This method is more formal than mediation and often follows established legal procedures. The arbitrator's decision is typically based on evidence and arguments presented by the parties involved.


Collaboration

Collaboration emphasises the idea of working together to find a solution that satisfies the needs and interests of all parties involved. It encourages open communication, brainstorming, and problem-solving as a team, with the aim of reaching a win-win outcome.


Compromise

Compromise involves each party in the conflict making concessions and finding a middle ground that partially satisfies their respective interests. It often requires a willingness to give up certain demands or preferences in order to achieve a resolution that is acceptable to all parties involved.

It's important to note that the appropriate method of conflict resolution may vary depending on factors such as the nature of the conflict, the relationship between the parties, and the desired outcome. In some cases, a combination of methods or alternative approaches may be necessary to address the conflict effectively.


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