SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 23

SEAHO Feature Articles
to help them create a plan for their future career trajectory. Supervisors must empower graduate student staff to
become well rounded competent professionals.
For entry-level professional staff members, effective support is vital to the positive progression of the staff.
They have a direct influence on the graduate and undergraduate level staff members, and their experiences and
attitudes trickle down the line. Similar to the approach with GAs, when supervising entry-level professional
staff members, supervisors should actively work to prepare them for the next step in their professional
journey. Many will also require guidance and help as they start understanding and embracing the differences
in supervising undergraduate vs graduate students. It is important, albeit often difficult, to work intentionally
with each individual on the team to develop both personal and professional development plans that enhance
their skills and propel them along their specified goal paths. Supervisors of entry-level staff members should be
intentional in advocating for their staff members - and help them learn to effectively advocate for themselves.
Leadership starts at the top, and role modeling strong interpersonal rapport and healthy stimulation of growth
sets a positive tone for all. Having a strong relationship with entry-level staff will help supervisors maximize the
work of the department, while also supporting staff members to align their personal and professional goals. This
ultimately keeps the group engaged, motivated, and feeling like they are a part of the team.
Ideally, it is the hope of every organization that the relationships between staff members and supervisors will be
positive and lead to years of continued mentorship. Erroneously, many supervisors assume that this is achieved
by only having positive interactions and avoiding conflict and accountability with their staff. In reality, conflict
is inevitable, especially in the workplace. However, despite the fact that conflict is ingrained into our daily lives,
individuals generally view any type of confrontation or disagreement through a negative lens and avoid it at all
costs. K. J. Bulman highlights in The Conflict Resolution Process that by failing to resolve issues at the lowest
level possible, supervisors often allow discomforts to turn into incidents. Those incidents then transition into
tense working environments, and those tense environments ultimately lead to crisis situations. It is important
to understand and acknowledge, however, that not all conflicts will cycle perfectly through those typical four
stages of conflict (discomfort, incident, tension, and crisis). There are times when supervisors will inherit
an issue that is already in full crisis mode. Many times this is the case because individuals at all levels have
allowed issues to fester over a period of time prior to addressing the matter.
Accountability and conflict resolution is mandatory for the success of an organization and the development of
staff. If a positive base has been set through consistent developmental and relationship-oriented supervision,
conflict should be viewed as a way to elevate the status quo and move forward, not something to be avoided
or rejected. Supervisors should be intentional in identifying ways to resolve conflict throughout all levels of
the organization. Ideally, all team members should be trained in the skills needed to resolve conflicts among
individuals, between the supervisor and other staff members, and large-scale team disputes. They should also
work to ensure conflict resolution practices are consistently present - a presence that can serve as a preventative
measure simply by existing (Dana, 2001). Conflict is multifaceted, as a result, supervisors must move beyond
the one size fits all model when holding staff accountable. Supervisors must work to address issues in a timely
manner and actively repair any harm that has been caused. Utilizing a variety of conflict resolution practices is
key in ensuring that issues are resolved and that staff are provided with the support they need to grow from the
exhibited behavior.
In Reframing Campus Conflict, Schrage and Giacomini introduced a spectrum of resolution options that can be
utilized to resolve student and staff conflict. The spectrum options include, but are not limited to, the following:
* Conflict Coaching: the process of working with staff in a one on one setting. During this time,
leadership can advise and support the individual in developing an understanding of their current
conflict, as well as help them understand how to manage conflict more effectively moving forward.
Conflict Coaching can also be utilized to help prepare for other forms of conflict resolution.
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SEAHO Report Spring 2019



SEAHO Report - Spring 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SEAHO Report - Spring 2019

Contents
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - Cover1
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - Contents
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 3
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 4
SEAHO Report - Spring 2019 - 5
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