Constructing Civic Dialogues provides no-cost communication, mediation, and facilitation training services.
About the Program
Constructing Civic Dialogues provides no-cost training on communication and conflict resolution to the public. Each of the participating community organization and businesses that provide these trainings offer their own unique curriculum.
You can find a complete list of upcoming trainings on the right-hand side of this page.
These no-cost trainings are made possible through grant funding provided by the Office of Community & Civic Life. Organizations interested in learning more about the Constructing Civic Dialogues grant opportunity can visit this page.
The following organizations and businesses currently provide trainings and workshops through the Constructing Civic Dialogues program:
- Anti-Oppression Resource & Training Alliance (AORTA)
- Disability Art and Culture Project
- Oregon Humanities
- Portland United Against Hate
- Resolutions Northwest
- Training 4 Transformation
- Vanport Mosaic
Civic Life is currently partnered with Resolutions Northwest to provide mediation services. To find out more, please contact Resolutions Northwest at (503) 595-4890.
Resolving Conflicts on Your Own
If you are looking for ways to resolve conflicts on your own, here are a few ways to start (content provided by Resolutions Northwest):
If there is not a threat of violence, talk directly to the person with whom you have the problem. Direct conversation is much more effective than sending a letter, banging on the wall, throwing a rock or complaining to everyone else.
Choose a Good Time
Plan to talk to the other person at the right time and allow enough time to talk. For example, don’t begin the discussion as the other person is leaving for work, after you have had a terrible day or right before you have to make dinner.
Think about what you want to say before your meeting. State clearly what the problem is and how it affects you. Talk in a quiet place where you both can be comfortable and undisturbed.
Respect means different things to different people. However, no one wants to be blamed or called names. Upsetting the other person only makes it more difficult to be heard.
Give the other person a chance to tell their side of the conflict completely. Relax and listen; try to learn how the other person feels.
Do not interpret the other person’s behavior: “you are blocking my driveway on purpose just to make me mad!” Instead, give information about your own feelings: “when your car blocks my driveway, I get angry because I can’t get to work on time.”
Show That You are Listening
Although you may not agree with what is being said, tell the other person that you hear them and are glad that you are discussing the problem together.
Talk it Out
Once you start, get all of the issues and feelings out into the open. Don’t leave out the part that seems “too difficult” to discuss or “too insignificant” to be important. Your solution will work best if all issues are discussed thoroughly.
Work on a Solution
People cooperating are much more effective than one person telling another person to change. Be specific: “I will turn my music off at midnight” is better than a vague, “I won’t play loud music anymore.” Then write down your agreement and what each person will do.
Agree to check in with each other at specific times to make sure that the agreement still is working.
The above tips on resolving conflict were provided by Resolutions Northwest, you can find the printable resource here:
Promote the Common Good: Civic Life is building stronger communities by supporting and empowering Portlanders. We think, act, and partner with our communities to better understand and take care of their diverse needs. We invite you to join us in this continuous, much needed work to make our communities safer and more welcoming for all.