Professional development is more important than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic transforms the way we work and deliver instruction. This week, UNLV's Human Resources/Organizational Development kicks off its new professional development (HR PD) “tips” series.
“Featuring these short, digestible tips in UNLV Today makes them accessible to all UNLV employees. Watch for them every other Friday throughout the year,” said Erin Collier, director of organizational development. “The tips will cover a variety of topics to help build skills that directly relate to our work and strengthen the institution’s resilience in the face of change.”
Learning how to de-escalate conflict is a skill that spans both professional and personal lives. According to a recent study in Psychiatry Research, anxiety has increased for all age groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, it’s important to acknowledge this is a high-stress time for everybody and that interpersonal conflicts may arise. We must all adopt a more understanding approach in our interaction with others and try not to take things as personally.
The ability to diffuse tense situations in the workplace and classroom will strengthen your ability as a colleague to foster safety and inclusivity in our community. These tips are adapted from an Academic Impressions article about de-escalating conflicts:
- Be respectful. Frame conversations in professional and educational terms to build trust as opposed to assigning blame.
- Don’t take the bait. Sometimes it is easy to become overwhelmed during a disagreement. Take deep breaths and keep the big picture in mind.
- Establish a next step. Often people need time and space to process complex emotions. Asking a student to attend office hours after class or calling a meeting with a colleague a few days after a conflict gives both parties the opportunity to think more clearly and resolve situations.
- You are not alone. If a situation escalates beyond your control, do not try to resolve it by yourself. Consult with Human Resources, your supervisor, colleagues, a mentor, or Student Affairs. If this is happening in your workplace or classroom-- it is probably happening in other areas.
These tips supplement the university’s ongoing Learning & Development efforts which include access to online classes through LinkedIn Learning and Academic Impressions, and Human Resources’ series of virtual professional development discussion groups to help keep our employees growing and learning.