Conflict resolution training goes by other names depending on the degree program and the concentration that one is pursuing. Degree programs are also identified by names such as negotiation training, peace studies, dispute resolution, reconciliation, and conflict mediation. This may also depend on whether one is pursuing the degree from a school of business, school of law, international relations department, political science department, or a public policy degree or other program. This also determines the kinds of courses that may be required for completing curriculum requirements.
While conflict is a fact of life, it does not have to be necessarily a negative thing. Conflict, when handled skillful can result in productivity, innovation and growth. This is particularly so in business and social negotiations. For example if one is a mediator in procurement and contract negotiation, one can help the company strike the best deals at the best rates.
All in all, conflict resolution training tends interdisciplinary with required coursework from various departments that include ethics, psychology, counselling, policy, organizational development, sociology, interpersonal communications, cross-cultural communication, leadership and management, and law and legal problem solving. This of course will vary by program, but the degree program will likely be grounded in several disciplines. In addition, course courses may be part of the program and may include Conflict theory, Negotiation Theory, Dispute Systems Design, and Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The goals of the program may vary, but may include understanding the following: Strategies for Conflict Management, Conflict Styles, Managing Negative Behavior, Conflict Management Models, Managing Disputes, Conflict Styles, Managing Hostility and Aggression, and Balancing Assertiveness and Empathy to mention a few areas. These skills require both a theoretical and practical approach to confliction management, and classes may use modelling, role-playing, hands-on skills clinics, internship or practicum, as well as examining authentic case studies.
Students attain skills in intercultural communication, coaching, dispute resolution planning, alternative approaches to dispute resolution, needs analysis, program evaluation, facilitation, negotiation, and mediation. What can I do with conflict resolution training you ask?
Depending on one’s prior training and credentials, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that some job titles include arbitrators, mediators, conciliators, judges, magistrates, and other Judicial Workers. These titles of course assume that one has some training in law and legal affairs. For professionals working in international settings such as Foreign Service, the United Nations, Red Cross, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) they may work in conflict zones and policy development as part of their professional responsibilities.
Conflict resolution and mediation students come from a variety of fields that include: human resource management, education, business leadership, project management, law enforcement, social services, lawyers, government, healthcare, non-profit management and much more. In other words, any field that involves human interaction, and that may require mediation or dispute resolution techniques would benefit from courses in this discipline. As far as the level of income with conflict resolution training, this will vary based on all the factors that are mentioned above. For example if one is already a lawyer, it is likely that one’s income would be based on that, while if one is trained as a counselor, the income would also be based on that. It is however, a useful addition for one to have to their curriculum vita.