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Constructive Conflict

Most school leaders get into education because they want to teach. They want to enrich the lives of their students and create a stronger community. However, those in administrative roles have to tackle an entirely different beast. Much of the role of a principal or district administrator involves managing conflict. Not just conflict amongst students, but friction between teachers, and parent complaints about grades and discipline.

The daily struggle of addressing conflict can be exhausting for many school leaders. Robert Feirsen (New York Institute of Technology) and Seth Weitzman (a retired New York principal) say that principals spend 20-40 percent of the school day juggling these types of challenges.

In Episode 195 of Class Dismissed, Feirsen and Weitzman offer us real-world strategies on how to depersonalize conflict and tackle the issues at hand.

“We call it ‘Conflict Agility’,” says Feirsen. “Conflict agile schools are able to process these difficult issues without getting crazy about it, without getting to a point where barriers are erected.”

Feirsen says that conflict agile leaders are able to take a step back from situations and understand how to move people in a direction that helps them resolve a situation constructively.

To hear all of Feirsen and Weitzman’s strategies listen to our full interview in Episode 195 of the Class Dismissed Podcast on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

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