skip to content
Primary navigation


The Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution delivers trainings on conflict resolution, collaborative problem solving, and public engagement to a variety of public sector audiences. We customize trainings based on the unique needs of each client. 

One of our standard trainings is Bridging Divides.

Bridging Divides: What to do when people disagree 

This training provides leaders and employees with strategies and tools to use when:

  • Hot topics like police-community relations or environmental review are producing conflict in a community
  • Angry constituents have an issue with board or agency policy decisions
  • Fellow board or council members feel passionately about issues and can’t agree

Components of these interactive 2-hour, half-day or full-day trainings can include:

  • Foundations of Conflict (Conflict Basics, Problem Solving Mindset, Needs and Interests)
  • Communications toolkit (Listening, Reframing)
  • Process Design
  • Designing public engagement approaches
  • Other topics as defined by the client

This training is suitable for State and local governments and their partners including: 

  • Elected officials and staff 
  • City Councils, School Boards, County Boards
  • State and local government agency/department leaders 
  • Community partners and stakeholders 

Between 95% - 100% of OCDR trainees say they recommend OCDR trainings to other groups!

Video Presentation
Below is an online Bridging Divides presentation that includes two 50-minute talks to introduce listeners to some of OCDR’s conflict resolution content. (Note that current in-person and online trainings are highly interactive). 

These two sessions are 50 minutes each and were recorded in 2021 at Sourcewell in Staples, Minnesota. The training was presented by the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) in partnership with the League of Minnesota Cities, the Association of Minnesota Townships, and the Minnesota School Board Association. 

Segment 1 (Youtube video)
Segment 2 (Youtube video)

Accompanying materials are also available here: 2021 Bridging Divides Handbook

Past training participants include: 

  • Minnesota Legislature 
  • Association of Minnesota Counties 
  • League of Minnesota Cities 
  • St. Paul Public Schools 
  • State of Minnesota’s New Manager Training Program 
  • Minnesota School Board Association
  • Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Academy 
  • Minnesota Campus Compact 
  • Collaboration & Negotiation for Leaders program (with the Dispute Resolution Institute at Mitchell Hamline School of Law)
  • Multiple Minnesota State Agencies 
  • Conflict Resolution Minnesota Annual Conference
back to top