First Leadership series event kicks off, discusses conflict management

Connor Johnson, Staff Writer

Emily Holth of Sustainable Solution Services LLC, held a lecture Wednesday, Jan. 25 in the Memorial Union’s River Valley Room. The lecture, discussing proper conflict management, was the first of a series of three lectures, part of the Spring Leadership Series.

The lecture, which ran for an hour, introduced the audience to the basics behind conflict, and the state of equilibrium known as “homeostasis,” which is where a person normally feels good, confident and in charge of their lives. When conflict occurs, a person can drop out of homeostasis, making them stressed and less effective at dealing with the issues presented.

One issue that Holth stressed was that of the “conflict paradox.” While during a conflict, you feel stressed and in a foul mood, and consider the other person a jerk, they are opposite, and have the same opinion as you. The keys to conflict management, according to Holth, are self-management and preparation; take steps to make the conflict as low-stress as possible, and understand your limits.

“The only person you know you can control is yourself,” Holth said.

A total of 41 students and several faculty members attended the lecture. Both Ms. Holth and Setareh Campion—the graduate student organizing the series—were impressed by the attendance turnout, and students who were unable to attend can always meet with Holth at her office in the old medical building, off of North Columbia Road.

“Talking about conflict management is so important,” Holth said. “It’s always a good idea to have, for personal and professional life.”

The next lecture will be hosted by Laurie Betting, the Vice President of Student Affairs, on Wednesday Feb. 22 at 12 p.m. It will also be held in the River Valley Room of the Memorial Union.

Emily Holth received her B.A. in Psychology at UND, and underwent mediation training at the school’s Conflict Resolution Center, which she later became a consultant for following a 13-year career at Wells Fargo. The company she founded, Sustainable Solution Services LLC, offers family and workplace mediation, customized training, coaching and team development. Holth can be reached at 701-757-3003, or via her website at [email protected]

Connor Johnson is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]