Introduction: The purpose of this essay is to discuss the importance and application of conflict resolution skills in establishing and maintaining effective partnerships both within university groups and the wider educational community. conflict Resolution builds stronger and more cohesive organisations and more rewarding relationships. (Conflict Resolution Network, 2001) Tension in your university group! Conflicts with a colleague at a place of learning can sour congeniality. Maintain the peace by establishing and maintaining effective partnerships both within your university group and the wider educational community. Conflict can cripple any educational institution, workplace or organisation, compromising staff morale.

It is a fact of life that we must learn to handle as best we can, rather than making matters worse by seeking revenge. As educators of the future, we can recognise that conflicts are normal and every educational institution will have its share of obstacles. An excessive number of students turn to violence as a solution to conflicts, but in order to succeed in life experiences, they must learn to resolve differences through communication. There are a number of tactics that can be used to solve a conflict. Conflict derives from differences - in needs, values and motivations. Sometimes through these differences we complement each other, but sometimes we will conflict.

Conflict is not a problem in itself - it is what we do with it that counts. It is important that we do something because whether we like it or not, conflicts demand our energy. In fact, an unresolved conflict can call on tremendous amounts of our attention. We all know how exhausting an unresolved conflict can be. It is not always easy to fix the problem but a great energy boost can come when we do. Resolving conflict requires skills.

(web accessed April 16, 2002 from the World Wide Web) Recognising that conflicts are normal is a fact of life and best handled by adopting solutions that can assist to turn potential and existing conflict into opportunity. Cornelius, H. (1994), found that by utilising strategies from a particular model such as e 12 Skills of Conflict Resolution, any conflict can be resolved to build a stronger and more cohesive organisation and more rewarding relationships. The skills involved in this model include: Win/Win Approach, Creative Response, Empathy, Appropriate Assertiveness, Co-operative Power, Managing Emotions, Willingness to Resolve, Mapping the Conflict, Designing Options, Negotiation Skills, Third Party Mediation and Broadening Perspectives. Employing effective skills such as the win/Win approach can assist to replace attack and defence behaviour with co-operation, before tension turns into destructive conflict. Unresolved tension can lead to increased conflict.

eEmpathyf is another skill with regard to active listening. In order to resolve conflicts, it is necessary to allow the other person involved to speak without interruption. By actively listening to the other personfs needs and feelings, one can understand the other personfs situation without having the need to agree. Another skill e Appropriate Assertiveness f is being able to express your feelings without offending the other person involved. This means, delving into an issue and discussing how you feel about the existing problem, not what the other person should or should nft be doing. Applying this method allows the other person involved to understand how strongly you feel about the issue.

Conclusion As a result, effectively applying these Conflict Resolution Skills can enable us to bypass personal differences and open up future possibilities, improving communication skills and strategies. These skills will assist to comprehend our peers as we search for solutions and balanced needs to succeed in life fs experiences. Solutions can help us to grow, learn something new or spark creativity. Learning to focus on the root of the problem, instead of the individual at the centre of it, may help to select better choices when responding. If the conflict involves a dispute over facts, its best to cool off, go to the source to verify facts and share the information. If you can live with a solution and support it, accept it, as no one wants to become a loser.

A compromise can mean that you and your college will both come out winners, boosting self-esteem in the process. References Cornelius, H. (1994). Conflict resolution: An eight session course. Chatswood, NSW: The Conflict Resolution Network.