Community Learning Event, November 17-18, 2014        

Transforming Systems for Conflict Resolution in Private and Public Life

Organizational structures often block conflict resolution. This is true in organizations from the some of the smallest—a family—to some of the largest—the United States Army. If then conflicts are to be finally resolved, practitioners’ help for  individuals to settle their one-on-one disagreements may not be an adequate approach. Systems and structures within which live is lived must themselves be transformed.

Drawing from a lifetime of work as a negotiator and mediator, Karl Slaikeu, Ph.D., will help us understand how organizations block conflict resolution, and how systems can be transformed to save time, money and relationships. Building on his work with families, churches, and businesses, plus lessons learned while embedded with the US Army in Afghanistan, Dr. Slaikeu’s presentation will include a close look at new tools that pastors can use to help parishioners follow a “preferred path” for enhancing communication, building consensus when needed, and resolving conflict in everyday life.

Karl A. Slaikeu, Ph.D., an  internationally recognized psychologist, mediator and author,  is a graduate of the University of  Nebraska-Lincoln (B.A), Princeton  Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and  the State University of New York at  Buffalo (M.A., Ph.D.).  He is the  author of When Push Comes to  Shove: A Practical Guide to  Mediating Disputes (Jossey-Bass),  five other books, numerous  professional articles, and has  extensive experience in mediating  family, organizational and faith based disputes.

Dr. Slaikeu’s model for psychological first aid has been translated into thirty-two languages for use by the American Red Cross to help earthquake and tsunami survivors in Central America and Asia. In 2009-10 he served as a Sr. Social Scientist with the US Army in Afghanistan, where he interviewed villagers and helped Coalition Forces adjust stability operations to address needs of the local population.  Formerly he held a tenured faculty position in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina, and taught in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Slaikeu lives in Austin, TX, with his wife, Diane W. Slaikeu, an attorney, mediator and educator interested in the spiritual dimensions of conflict.