Katrina Nobles is the Director of Conflict Programs for the Scheinman Institute on Conflict Resolution at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, focusing on educating the next generation of neutrals and practitioners on campus and in the workplace. Nobles designs curriculum, instructs professional programs, and facilitates discussions for organizational workplace conflicts. She also teaches the Campus Mediation Practicum, an on-campus credit course that applies mediation skills to the campus judicial system, allowing students to work as peer mediators. Nobles has presented at national conflict resolution conferences on Facilitating Collaborative Problem Solving, Cross-Cultural Communication, and Conflict Diagnosis. In addition to her position at Cornell, she facilitates for the Global Nomads Group, bringing together, through video conference, K-12 students in the United States and Middle East/North Africa region. She has practiced mediation for over 10 years, and prior to her employment at Cornell, Katrina was the Cortland County Coordinator for New Justice Mediation Services. During that time, Nobles mediated hundreds of community, child custody/visitation, child support, and family disputes. Katrina holds a master’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Engagement from Antioch University Midwest.
When most of us face conflict, we often either avoid dealing with it, or we jump in and try to force a solution. These responses may be driven by a lack of comfort with or even a fear of conflict. Unfortunately, neither response is always correct, and neither approach should be the first step. Professors Klingel and Nobles will share how to overcome these instincts and successfully apply a problem-solving approach to conflict.
The first course in this series, “Diagnosing Workplace Conflict,” focused on fully diagnosing a conflict without jumping into problem solving. In this course, you’ll look at how to best handle a fully diagnosed conflict using a problem-solving approach. A common issue we’ll address is jumping to solutions before understanding the scope of the conflict and the needs that will have to be addressed to resolve it. Thus, you’ll begin by determining the scope. Depending on the scope you may move forward with the problem-solving approach, or, you may decide to let it go. The problem-solving approach, which consists of eight steps that can be broken down into three key elements, is the framework through which this course is taught. In the course project, you’ll practice applying this approach to a conflict of your choosing. The approach is intended to be used when solving conflict you are directly involved in. Despite this, we’ll offer practical advice on how you could adapt this for other use cases.
- Move from conflict diagnosis to problem solving
- Determine the scope of the conflict and how to proceed
- Determine the problem, interests, and criteria for successful resolution
- Generate options and agree on a solution
- Implement and monitor a measurable solution
How It Works
Sally Klingel is the director of labor-management relations programming for the Scheinman Institute, where she teaches, trains and provides organizational change consulting services to labor and management groups nation-wide. She specializes in the design and implementation of conflict and negotiation systems, labor-management partnerships, work redesign, strategic planning and change processes, and leadership development. Her work with Cornell over the past fifteen years has included training, consulting, and action research with organizations in a variety of industries, local, state and federal government agencies, union internationals and locals, public schools and universities, and worker owned companies.
Sally holds a M.S. in Organizational Behavior from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan. She has authored articles, monographs and book chapters on innovations in labor-management relations. She is currently a PhD candidate at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, writing a dissertation on labor-management strategies for change in municipal work organizations.