How to Deal With Conflict? Allegheny County Bar Association Offers Tips in Recognition of Conflict Resolution Day

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Oct. 12, 2008. Members of the Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee of the Allegheny County Bar Association today released some helpful tips for dealing with conflict in recognition of Conflict Resolution Day to be held on October 16, 2008.

Conflict Resolution Day, an international event, was started in 2005 by the Association for Conflict Resolution which was created in 2001 when the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM), the Conflict Resolution Education Network (CREnet), and the Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR) merged into one organization.

According to Mary Kate Coleman, chairperson of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee, “many disputes or conflicts can be settled if people could just communicate and listen better.”

According to the ADR Committee, the following tips, although they seem very simple, can help in dealing with conflict.

  • Listen to the other person and let the other person know that you have heard him/her. Conflict often occurs because someone does not feel like he/she was heard.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try to envision what the situation looks like from his/her perspective.
  • Be respectful.
  • It is not only what you say that is important; it is also important how you say it.
  • Pay attention to your body language when discussing a situation with another person.
  • Understand the difference between positions and needs. Positions are what you want. Needs are why you want what you want. Collaborate on how you each can get what you need.
  • If all else fails, try mediation.

The Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee is participating in the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Impact 250 Program, which will run the month of October 2008. Impact 250 recognizes the 250th birthday of the city of Pittsburgh and continues to ensure that legal information and assistance is made available to those who need it. Bar association members have been asked to distribute information, conduct legal education programs, and organize community outreach programs that will impact at least 250 area residents.

Chartered in 1870 and headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh, The Allegheny County Bar Association is a professional organization with more than 6,600 member attorneys, judges, magisterial district judges, legal administrators and paralegals.

For more information on the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) and Conflict Resolution Day, visit its website at