Conflict Management Community Collaboratives And Term Paper

There is merit in this suggestion, especially considering that many of the people involved in community collaboration efforts may not be trained or skilled in conflict management, collaboration, and communication. Effective tools and trained staff could help to ensure collaborators are able to work together effectively. Potapchuk also says that communities need to continue their work on issues of race, class, and culture. This statement links back to Potapchuk's argument that underlying issues limit progress. However, it is unclear whether this is really a problem limiting progress. In fact, it seems that this is a much larger issue and one that collaborative community groups may not be able to overcome. Instead, it seems like it would be more reasonable for groups to be given the tools to work together to solve the problem they were created to solve despite their differences, rather than to try and eliminate their differences.

Jerome F. Weiss makes a similar point in his article "You Never Can Tell." He notes that when people cannot see any similarities on a personal level, they also tend to ignore the other person's dispute. Weiss's solution is for people to ignore who is presenting an argument and to focus on what the argument is. Weiss also notes that people will often "use these personal and perceptual differences to fuel our differences on substance, and in turn, the controversy"...


The important point that this makes is that the way people react to each other cannot be changed. There is an element of human nature operating and people are responding naturally. Weiss's focus is not to attempt to change how people are, but to use tools to make disputes and conflicts successful despite the differences. Weiss does not that people can understand what is happening and change their approaches to create a more successful negotiation. However, the underlying factors will still remain. Weiss's approach is effective because it recognizes the basic issues, but does not attempt to solve these basic issues. Instead, it focused on the task or the desired outcome and finds a way to get around the issues so the outcome can be achieved. This is an approach that seems to be lacking in Potapchuk's focus, where he seems to be trying to solve problems basic to human nature, instead of accepting these problems and finding a way for community collaboratives to be successful despite personal differences.

Sources Used in Documents:


Potapchuk, W. (1999). "Moving From Collaborative Processes To Collaborative Communities Building Our Agenda." Retrieved October 21, 2005. URL:

Weiss, J.F. (2005). "You Never Can Tell." Retrieved October 21, 2005. URL:

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