Informal Conflict Management

A first step to resolving differences

While the University has formal complaint and grievance procedures, please consider using informal conflict management as a first step to resolving differences. Managers, supervisors and employees choosing to engage in informal conflict management can do so on their own or with the assistance of various employee support services.

Individual Discussions

Clear and open communication is the cornerstone of successful conflict resolution. Those choosing to initiate informal conflict management on their own are encouraged to review the Additional Conflict Management Resources page for valuable conflict resolution self-help materials, courses and trainings.  

Employee Support Services

The following offices offer informal conflict resolution support. You may choose whichever option you are most comfortable with. Please note that some offices deal with only specific types of complaints.

Employee Relations Consultants

Provide consultation and advice to managers, supervisors, and employees regarding personnel issues, with the goal of improving and maintaining workplace relationships.

Resolution Center

Offers impartial facilitators trained to assist employees with informal conflict management through voluntary facilitated conversations.

Staff Ombuds Office

Provides confidential, impartial and informal conflict resolution and problem-solving services for all Staff, Non-Senate Academics, and Faculty who perform management functions.

Office for the Prevention of Harassment & Discrimination

Provides assistance in resolving and investigating complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment.

Restorative Justice Center

Offers a variety of options for responding to conflict and harm in the workplace including Community Building Circles, Talking Circles, and Restorative Conversations.

NOTE: Employees are not required to use informal conflict management and should be aware that attempts at informal conflict management do not extend the time limits for filing complaints or grievances.