Resolving Internal Union Conflict (LS256)
This course focuses on the resolution of internal union disputes within leadership, between leadership and members, and across diverse constituency groups within the union where maintaining relationship is important.
We will develop: 1) understanding of integrative conflict resolution theory and process, 2) awareness of personal and interpersonal dynamics that cloud progress toward resolution and 3) communication skills that promote solution-finding where both relationship and outcome substance are important. The use of integrative strategy and practice developed for personal and interpersonal conflict will be considered on the organizational level for grievance handling, collective bargaining and labor-management relations.
- Assumptions, Styles and Strategy Choices in Conflict Resolution
- Conflict Resolution as Integrative Solution-Finding: Surfacing Concerns
- Conversation and Information-sharing: Listen, Learn, Reframe
- Identity and Emotions in Conflict Resolution
- Getting Their Attention: Power, Recognition and Building Influence
- Applications to Grievance Handling, Collective Bargaining and labor-management relations
- Implications for Leadership
Approaches and Features
- Group Discussion
- Interactive and Online Exercises
- Scenario-based Negotiation Simulations
- Communication Toolkit
- Mid-term and Final Paper
How will you benefit?
- Explore integrative negotiation theory and practice as applied to internal union disputes where the way conflict is resolved carries implications for unity and membership commitment.
- Learn to use conflict resolution as a mechanism for consensus and relationship building. Improve your ability to make progress on both substance and relationship goals.
- Focus on concerns and interests to guide conflict resolution and develop techniques for using communication, information-sharing, and power to diffuse tension, build influence and work toward mutually acceptable outcomes.
- Strengthen awareness of assumptions you bring to a conflict situation, your personal style and communication choices to better understand how these might influence your behavior and strategy as well as the outcomes you achieve.
- Strengthen skills to navigate the pitfalls of emotion and identity challenge that can turn a difficult conversation toxic and dislodge progress on resolution.
- Consider the application of integrative negotiation on the organizational level in grievance handling, collective bargaining and labor-management relations.
This course is a part of the Cornell ILR Online Labor Studies Program and upon completion you will earn 3.0 credits that can be used towards a Certificate of Labor Studies.
Susan Woods is Managing Partner, Henderson Woods, LLC. She specializes in facilitation, training and consulting services for interest-based bargaining and collaborative conflict resolution, labor-management relations and diversity and inclusion. The major portion of her professional career was spent at Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations where she focused on education and training for union and workplace practitioners, assisted labor and management with the development of joint processes, trained negotiators in interest-based bargaining. She has worked with unions at the international and local levels to further understanding of diversity and inclusion. She is a long-time board member of WNYCOSH, the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health.