Action items to address faith-based and other scheduling conflicts

  1. Identify the specific unit where the occurrence originated, or the person, if known
  2. Make a short list of talking points and viable alternatives (if you are familiar with the unit's/person's activities) prior to contacting the unit or person
  3. Contact the person or unit and engage in a polite exchange of information about the conflict
  4. Make a request for a schedule adjustment based upon the exchange of information (not your feelings) and allow reasonable time for this to take place
  5. If there is no adjustment made or considered by the originating unit or person, establish an "impact statement" (who gets harmed if a timely change doesn't occur) prior to re-engaging
  6. If a third party is needed, then prepare for an interest-based educational negotiation (see below)
Interest-based educational negotiation

1. Interests are expandable to include community perspectives

2. The results will be a win-win outcome

3. The results will be a collaborative undertaking


1. Create value

2. Satisfy mutual interests

Emphasis on: 1. Achieving an outcome that is favorable to me/group and that also preserves and perhaps improves my/groups' relationship with the person or unit
Information sharing

1. Be open and forthcoming

2. Share "can do" information

3. Share information that increases understanding of each other's interests and concerns


1. Probing before reacting

2. Using "Did you know?" leads

3. Listening for institutional limitations and barriers to resolution

4. Brainstorming for sustainable solutions

5. Publicizing positive outcomes

Refrain from the following assumptions:

  • The conflict was done as a spite or in adverse to the other party
  • The conflict is a matter of institutional value
  • The result of conversation will be favorable only to one side
  • You should become strategic and selective with information shared before conversation begins
  • You must be tough, hard-nosed, aggressive or dominating to make change

Action items to address faith-based or other scheduling conflicts (PDF)