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JUN 17

5 Ways to Manage Conflict

By Referee

When situations explode on the field or court, it’s up to sports officials to restore the peace and manage conflict. In managing conflict, showing a little empathy, demonstrating good listening skills and providing people with options rather than threats go a long way.

The work of conflict management should begin well before any crisis has erupted — for sports officials it starts when first arriving and meeting participants. Not only does appearance matter, but how officials first communicate with people sets an important stage. Greet people with a smile. It’s the universal greeting and it disarms people. Introduce yourself and let coaches and players know you understand what they are saying.

That’s a basic starting point for “Verbal Defense and Influence/ Conflict Management for Athletic Officials,” a management approach used to defuse conflict that Pete Jaskulski, developed from his years of experience in law enforcement and officiating.

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