Clubs and Societies

Conflict Resolution

Conflict Resolution


If you've clicked on this tab you or your club have probably run into some "roadworks". As tricky and awkward as this can be you've made a great first step to getting things sorted. Let's look at some basic steps to getting you back on track.

Step 1 - Communicate "In-House"

"Hashing it out" early on can be a good way to avoid issues escalating. Where you feel comfortable enough organise a time to meet with the person/persons you are in conflict with. Try to be as clear as possible about what your concerns are (without coming across aggressive yourself) and how or what they might be able to do to improve the situation. It's also a good time to acknowledge (where applicable) any behaviours you've exhibited that might have contributed to the situation. Give them the opportunity to have his or her say without interrupting. Kiwi's are great at avoiding conflict so you may find that they had no idea you felt this way (or to that extent). Where possible try work on solutions together or agree on some "common ground". Keep it as professional as possible! In some situations, you might be tempted to throughout insults but really won't help anyone.

*There may be situations where this is inappropriate e.g. if something illegal has occurred or you feel unsafe in any way. In these instances reach out to professionals (this could mean the police) or our CDO for further guidance and support.

Step 2 - Approach your President 

Step 1 is sometimes easier said than done. If you've had a go but it hasn't worked we suggest contacting your president. If the conflict is with your president then you've lucked out so off you go to step 3. Assuming it's not your president give them a rundown of what has happened. What you'll want to ask them is if they can play a mediator role (either directly or indirectly). 

Step 3 - Come and See Us

Our clubs development officer is a great option where steps 1 and 2 have fallen through. The CDO can play a mediator role and importantly is impartial coming into discussions. 

Step 4 - Bring in the Pro's

The University of Otago has a professional mediation service on campus which is available to all students. The University mediator can be particularly helpful with conflict that is complex and may require ongoing monitoring.