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Conflict prevention

Last edited: January 03, 2012

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Clarity on strategy, structure and procedures reduces conflict potential. Each meeting involving decisions affecting the campaign team or alliance should be documented in a short report, which is distributed to all members.

Cultivating “soft skills”, such as respect for each campaign member’s contribution, also plays a key role in conflict prevention. This is part and parcel of the ethical rules that campaigns should follow. In addition, regular consultation to ensure that members’ voices are not only heard, but also taken into account, will go a long way towards limiting potential conflict.

Practical tips

The Kansas University Community Toolbox recommends the “6 R’s” for maintaining engagement of all participants. You can address the R’s in a continuous process of formal and informal consultation and feed-back within a team or alliance:

  • Recognition – people want to be recognized for their contributions.
  • Respect – people want their values, culture, ideas and time to be respected and considered in the activities of the group.
  • Role – people want a clearly defined role in the coalition that makes them feel valuable.
  • Relationships – people want the opportunity to establish and build networks both personally and professionally for greater influence and support.
  • Reward – people expect the rewards of participating in a collaborative relationship to outweigh the costs.
  • Results – people respond to visible results that are clearly linked to outcomes important to them and that they can clearly link to their participation in the coalition.