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Bridging Divides: What to Do When People Disagree


Learn what to do when emotions run high and positions are deeply held. Compromise isn't the only option. In this workshop, you will learn how to de-escalate difficult situations and move from conflict to effective solutions for challenging public issues. 
Participants will practice: 1) Identifying what other people need to move forward even when they aren't saying it; 2) Providing support to help difficult people to be responsive; 3) Managing high emotions; and, 4) Developing solutions that get implemented because they integrate the needs of everyone involved.

Learning Topics

  • De-escalation
  • Managing strong emotions
  • Increasing mutual understanding
  • Building consensus
  • Effective communication techniques for difficult situations

Presenters: Mariah Levison, Manager, and Dave Bartholomay, Program Coordinator, Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services, Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution

Mariah Photo - CopyMariah Levison runs the Minnesota State Office for Collaboration and Dispute Resolution.  She has worked for dispute resolution centers in Chicago, New York, and Minneapolis. Her work in dispute resolution includes mediation, facilitation, assessment, collaborative processes, dialogue, restorative justice, and program design. Ms. Levison has been teaching conflict resolution education and social and emotional literacy skills for fifteen years in settings ranging from community trainings to teaching the mediation clinic at the University of Minnesota Law School.  She has a Master’s Degree from Washington University in St. Louis.  

Dave PhotoDave Bartholomay is the Program Coordinator for the Office for Collaboration and Dispute Resolution. He is a qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice for the District Courts and has previously led a successful community dispute resolution program serving suburban and greater Minnesota. He has a Master’s degree in Political Science and extensive public sector leadership experience at the federal, state, and local government level.

bureauofmediationlogoThe Minnesota State Office for Collaboration and Dispute Resolution, a division of the Bureau of Mediation Services, serves as a statewide catalyst to advance the sustainable resolution of matters of public interest, broad use of community mediation, and effective collaboration and dispute resolution in state and local government. 

Our services include assessment, process design, mediation, facilitation, convening, consensus building, training, and more.  OCDR specializes in working with public sector entities.  Our approach is to uncover the core concerns and goals of the parties underlying the issues in dispute so that they become invested in solving a common public problem by developing creative options to address the concerns and goals of all involved with the ultimate objectives of reaching an actionable, sustainable solution which improves working relationships and the efficiency and effectiveness of government.

2020 Dates & Locations Coming Soon!

Registration Details:
Free of charge, but registration is required.
Check-in window begins at 9:00a.m.
Session time: 9:30 a.m.  – 3:30 p.m.