Tools for Leadership and Conflict Resolution

Course Overview and Learning Outcomes:

Gain fundamental leadership skills and the confidence to build relationships that support groups and teams to work effectively with one another. This course focuses on developing a leadership mindset, tone-setting, cultivating a welcoming and inclusive environment, practicing basic public speaking skills, leading introductory activities, supporting others and ourselves to take the risk to stretch and grow, and practicing tools for communication (with an emphasis on listening, receiving feedback non-defensively and conflict resolution).

We will be taking a field trip to Mount Hermon, in Felton, California, and participate on their High Ropes Course.  Here we will explore the value and relationship of taking risk and building trust with others. This is a “challenge-by-choice” activity that is held in a fun, safe and well-supported environment.  Students will gain insights about encouraging others to stretch beyond their comfort-zone, being well supported and the backdrop of having choice. 

The second half of this course focuses on tools for conflict resolution.  Ideally, when faced with conflict, we are able to de-escalate tension and adapt our response to fit the circumstances.  In reality, many of us have a habitual “one size fits all” response, based upon personal history and temperament.  This course will help students identify their own conflict management preferences relative to five universal styles.  Gain insights into the stages of conflict, how to recognize early signs of conflict, and appropriate approaches using different conflict resolution styles. 

This is a highly interactive course that includes hands-on practice and requires full participation.  Students should be prepared to work with others, have fun, be active, and to transfer learning opportunities from a variety of activities into the development of lifelong leadership tools.

Students will demonstrate increased confidence and the ability to do the following:  

  • Welcome new groups and establish basic tone-setting frameworks
  • Facilitate introductory activities that open communication and build connections between participants.
  • Engage a leadership mindset, whether or not in a formal leadership role
  • Use facilitative listening skills that establish relationship and build understanding
  • Build trust with a partner
  • Communicate and encourage others in a meaningful way
  • Both support and ask for the support of others
  • Address fear or anxiety so that it lifts oneself and others up
  • Solicit and receive feedback non-defensively
  • Recognize the early signs and stages of conflict
  • Decide if, when and how to address conflict
  • Have awareness of using different approaches to resolve different kinds of conflict.