Welcome to the Australasian Dispute Resolution Research Network’s COVID-19 crisis inspired series on basic skills and strategies for effective communication, negotiation and dispute resolution practices. The series is written by dispute resolution experts who are members of the Network and is designed for this difficult and challenging time of worldwide lockdown.
It is clear that relationships are being tested as a result of the social isolation strategies currently in place in response to COVID-19. As we spend more time confined in our homes, and work remotely from our colleagues, it can be a struggle to maintain civil communications – it’s a perfect environment for nerves to become frayed and for disputes and conflict to develop. The reliable advice seems to be that we are really only at the beginning of trying to overcome the virus – so now is an absolutely critical time to equip ourselves with positive strategies to support relationships – personal relationships, work relationships and relationships with others we encounter when we get to go outside.
There are many stories of acts of kindness and generosity in families and the community. See for example. However, the significant stressors of living through this pandemic cannot be denied. A man in Woolworths the other day pushed rudely in front of me and then turned around and said abruptly ‘It’s all for one these days’. I think he actually meant ‘It’s every person for themselves’ (?!). In any event his actions demonstrated that he was losing his capacity to be civil and to cope.
The ADR Research Network is a network of leading dispute resolution scholars who collaborate to foster, nurture and enrich high quality dispute resolution research and scholarship. The Network is inclusive and forward-looking, highly collegial and supportive. In ‘these troubling times’ we want to share some of our expertise in support of individual, family, workplace and community harmony and peace in lockdown.
Starting today we will be positing a new Blog every day for the rest of April exploring ways in which we can all prevent disputes from arising, as well as manage and resolve disputes when they do arise. We’ll be covering topics such as effective communication strategies (for example, effective listening, appropriate ways to ask questions and the benefits of using tools such as summarising and reframing in communications), mental health strategies relevant to dispute resolution practice (such as reflective practice, resilience-building and self-management), conflict management approaches (conflict analysis and de-escalation) and dispute resolution practices with a focus on negotiation tips and tricks. We’ll be highlighting some of the great work of Network members and pointing you towards additional useful resources.
We always welcome your comments and feedback. Please be in touch with us via the comments function on the Blog.
Tomorrow’s Blog: Dispute resolution agency – it’s our responsibility at this time to take agency and build our communication, negotiation and dispute resolution skills.
Coronavirus image: https://www.newscientist.com/term/covid-19/
All for one and one for all image: https://kronozio.com/card/c76070ce-7059-46e2-81e1-d1067b228cbb/1993-Skybox-The-Three-Musketeers-All-For-One-And-One-For-All–73