Conflict Management Solutions

Helping municipalities find effective solutions to difficult community challenges.

Leadership | Communication | Conflict Management

In both public organizations, as well as in private businesses, leaders work with people who have different perspectives, values, and goals. Combining different visions can lead to new innovative ideas and solutions, but it also can result in conflict. Let’s face it, no matter how well-intentioned an elected official or leader is, or how good an employee is at their job, in general, people are usually not equipped to deal with every conflict, especially the most intense disputes where deep needs and strong emotions are triggered.

Attorney, Pam Whitmore is a Rule 114 Qualified Neutral in the state of Minnesota. She concentrates her practice in helping individuals, particularly group decision-makers, learn how to manage conflict and work more collaboratively on making better, more effective decisions. However, as divides or emotions grow, our team has found clients often reach more sustainable solutions through the use of a more holistic problem-solving process which involves engaging others, learning perspectives, sharing interests, striving for integrative solutions. All of this leads to improved communication and collaborative relationships, spurring better policy making, strategic planning and healthier workplaces. However, we also understand that sometimes situations have advanced and the need for traditional mediation or general legal counsel is the answer and our team is equipped to help as those situations arise as well.

Our skilled collaboration team can provide customized workshops, training, skill-building, strategic planning, and/or conflict management services to governmental agencies including state agencies, cities, townships, counties, police agencies, fire departments, libraries, and/or school boards, as well as for business organizations, health entities, and nursing homes. Services include:

  • Proactive Conflict Facilitation Workshops
  • Conflict Resolution/Mediation
  • Effective Communication Strategies Training
  • Strategic Planning /Priority Setting
  • Workplace/Employment Investigations
  • Workplace Collaboration Solutions
  • Diversity and Inclusion Training
  • Leadership coaching & mentorship
  • Individual Conflict Coaching
  • Customized Problem Solving Solutions
  • Governance Best Practices Training & Roles/Responsibilities Education
  • Meeting Management Training & Public Comment Best Practices
  • Civic Engagement
  • Data Practices & Open Meeting Law Pitfalls
  • Social Media Use for Connecting, not Dividing
  • Team Building
  • Facilitated Dialogue:
    • Conflict Management
    • Difficult Conversations
    • Communication Pitfalls & Leadership

If you don’t believe that your case can be resolved through these alternative methods, Eckberg Lammers also provides Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Services.


Fairmont City Council Talks About Its Division, February 4, 2020, Judy Bryan, Staff Writer, Sentinel

League of Minnesota Cities Conducts Training on Code of Ethics and Conduct with City of Crookston, September 11, 2019, KROX The Voice of the Valley

Nisswa: Communication, roles addressed at council workshop, May 7, 2018, Nancy Vogt, Brainerd Dispatch

League of Minnesota Cities holds workshop to improve Brooklyn Park City Council climate, December 6, 2017, Kevin Miller, Sun Post

Prior to joining Eckberg Lammers, Pam Whitmore worked for several years for the League of Minnesota Cities and League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust, offering mediation and customized conflict management services. The above-featured articles are a representation of the services provided through our Conflict Management Solutions.


Conflict Management Solutions Question and Answer

HOW DO I INITIATE YOUR SERVICES?

Contact our collaboration team to find out more about what service may be right for your situation. Being in conflict can be stressful and, sometimes, the underlying interests of those involved get hidden within positions. Each situation is unique and our team will take time with you to learn more about the situation, to explain the various process or education options, and to answer any questions about the conflict management process generally.

WHY DO I NEED TO HIRE AN ATTORNEY FOR THESE SERVICES?

Certainly, many Qualified Neutrals or Facilitators are not lawyers; however, Attorney Facilitators with experience litigating employment and civil rights matters have an ingrained ability to identify underlying interests and values involved in situations. This developed instinct enables our Facilitators to assess situations and be able to recommend the best problem-solving solution or training for you and your team.

Additionally, having an attorney who is well versed in the legal parameters for municipalities and their elected officials provides an added benefit to our clients by being able to be a subject matter expert regarding issues causing divide or about which training relates. Of course, with respect to mediations, having a lawyer as the mediator with experience in the area of law at issue benefits parties to mediations.

Finally, many municipal clients seeking assistance forget that many states, including Minnesota and Wisconsin, have parameters for when and how elected officials can participate in group activities and dialogue. Having an Attorney Facilitator provides comfort to those individuals that the process or training complies with these parameters.

WHAT WORKSHOPS ARE AVAILABLE?

  • Conflict Management Workshop
  • Customized Conflict Resolution Sessions
  • Customized design and management of processes for public policy consensus building and project initiatives
  • Mediations
  • Difficult Conversations Training
  • Roles & Responsibility Training
  • Leadership and Working Collaboratively Workshop
  • Communication Skills Training for Leaders or Group Decision Makers
  • Strategic Planning/Priority Setting
  • Employment Investigations
  • Ethics and Conflict of Interest Training
  • Team Building Workshops, including Strengths and Communication Styles
  • Leading within Open Meeting & Data Law Training
  • Education on Social Media as a Connector, not a Divider

WHAT DOES A WORKSHOP LOOK LIKE?

The general framework for each solution varies as each recommended service focuses on the unique situation at hand. However, each facilitated workshop or training generally starts with a Pre-Call Conference where our team would gather all the information needed on why the workshop has been requested along with any background information need. Secondly, they would frame the workshop based upon the information gathered in the Pre-Call Conference. The proposed plan would be communicated to the main point of contact before scheduling the Interactive Workshop and, often, our team would conduct one-on-one calls with participants prior to the upcoming session to better understand underlying interests. The Interactive Workshop is usually conducted in-person and would include all parties. Following the workshop, a Summary of Next Steps will be provided. For those sessions convened with a specific document as an end goal, such as a strategic planning meeting or process design for engagement, the specific document or plan would follow the session.

WHEN ARE CONFLICT RESOLUTION SERVICES OR TRAINING NECESSARY?

You don’t need to be in conflict to use conflict resolution services or engage our experts in training. Certainly, when conflict or a divide exists and all parties involved have a willingness to come to the table with a strong interest in resolving conflict, then conflict resolution services serve their interests well. However, proactively addressing the possibility of conflict with customized training or processes designed in response to red flags of division or discontent in the workplace or in meetings, can improve the health of the workplace or group decision makers’ interactions. Certainly, agreed upon mediation or alternative dispute resolution options can also result in better outcomes for a lower cost by avoiding litigation or not losing employees. Finally, consistent training for new leaders on roles, responsibilities, communication, and inclusion can maintain a healthy culture and workplace.


Choose Eckberg Lammers to help find solutions to your organizations' challenges.

Call 651-439-2878 or send us an e-mail to schedule a consultation.


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