UCSF to Offer Problem-Solving Sessions on Parnassus Campus

UCSF’s Problem Resolution Center will offer a drop-in problem solving session on Wednesday, Nov. 4, on the UCSF Parnassus campus.

The free session will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Medical Sciences Building, room S 173.

This is the third in a series of problem-solving sessions that allow faculty, staff, students and trainees to speak confidentially with representatives of UCSF’s Problem Resolution Center and UCSF’s trained internal mediators to explore solutions for workplace problems, conflicts or potential issues they may be facing.

UCSF’s mission – advancing health worldwide™ – depends on the ability of all disciplines and cultures to collaborate and communicate effectively in support of the shared mission. Through its outreach efforts, the Problem Resolution Center provides an early opportunity for members of the UCSF community to explore options for addressing breakdowns in communication, interpersonal and organizational issues and other problems that adversely impact the quality of life at UCSF.

“We know that generally no one enjoys conflict, however it’s a natural occurrence and part of life,” says Ellen Beilock, mediation officer, who manages the Problem Resolution Center with David Bell, associate mediation officer. “When we perceive that the stakes are high – particularly where a power imbalance exists – emotions are strong and can compromise rational thinking. In these situations it can be very useful, if not critical, to be able to brainstorm and assess options with a skilled neutral third party.”

Problem Resolution Center representatives can discuss the benefits of non-adversarial approaches such as mediation, a confidential communication process facilitated by neutral co-mediators. Referrals can also be made to other campus services, such as the Sexual Harassment Prevention and Resolution Program, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program and the Office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Diversity, among others.

This year marks the 11-year anniversary of the Problem Resolution Center’s valuable service to the UCSF community. Commencing under the Work~Life Resource Center in 1998, the staff and trained internal volunteer mediators and facilitators have conducted more than 250 mediations and provided numerous workshops, trainings and other organizational support, saving UCSF hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct and indirect costs and, more importantly, improving the quality of life at UCSF, according to Beilock.

“Reducing the human toll of conflict and dysfunction in the workplace is the goal,” Beilock notes. “We hope to reach out to ever-increasing numbers of people who research, study, teach and work at UCSF, and this is a solid start for our second decade.” 

For more information about the problem resolution sessions, contact Bell at 415/514-3226 or [email protected]

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