CSU Cross Campus Collaboration Class | Entrenched Conflict to Calm Collaboration - Using "De-escalation Listening"

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 9:30am to 11:00am

Online via Zoom; Connection details provided upon registration

This session is offered by another CSU Campus participating with Northridge in a Professional & Personal Development Cross Campus Collaboration program.

Colleagues attending this session may hail from the Chancellor’s Office, Channel Islands, Chico, East Bay, Fresno, Humboldt, Long Beach, Monterey Bay, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, and Stanislaus.


“Active listening” is often described as an essential communication skill. But active listening done well is more than just a way to improve communications – it’s a vital conflict de-escalation tool. “Active listening” also means a lot of different things to different people.
This workshop focuses on how to employ “de-escalation listening,” a type of active listening that creates space for collaboration and problem-solving. The workshop begins with a practical discussion about what de-escalation listening looks like and when to employ it. Then, participants will consider a workplace scenario in which people have begun to fall into polarized positions. The scenario will be based upon anonymous input from participants in advance of the workshop. Participants will break into groups of 3-4 people to explore one perspective in the conflict and how a de-escalation listening strategy might be employed. Please complete this survey to help the presenters develop a scenario based on factors’s relevant to you: De-Escalation Listening Scenario Input. When the breakout groups reconvene, participants will be given an opportunity to role-play with the assistance of the facilitators. The workshop will conclude with a debriefing about how de-escalation listening worked during the role-play exercise. Participants will also be able to ask questions of the facilitators (two university ombuds)."

Facilitated by:

Mark Patterson, University Ombuds, California State University Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA.
Mark Patterson is the founding University Ombuds for California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, California, serving staff, faculty and student employees navigating workplace concerns, conflict and policy. Mark previously served as University Ombuds for the College of William & Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia. Before becoming an Ombuds, Mark served as a judge advocate (military lawyer) in the U.S. Air Force for 24 years, with assignments in Asia, Europe and the United States, and retired at the rank of colonel. He received a B.A. in journalism from Marietta College, Ohio; a J.D. from Duke University; and an LL.M. in International Dispute Resolution from Fordham University.

Patricia Ponce, Student Ombuds, California Polytechnic State University, (Cal Poly) San Luis Obispo, CA.
Patricia Ponce has spent over 30 years working in higher education. She has worked in many different types of institutions including the University of Rhode Island, Boston University, Alan Hancock Community College, and UCLA. She has worked as an Academic Advisor, Counselor, Research Assistant, Assessment Specialist, and Administrator. Her work has always aligned with her commitment to Access, Equity, Social Justice and Collaboration. For the last 11 years, Patricia has served as the Student Ombuds at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA.

Faculty & Staff – To register for this Workshop/Session:

  1. When ready, select the CSU Learn button below.
  2. Log into with your myNorthridge Portal credentials.
  3. Select the “Register” button.
  4. Click on the bullet next to the CSUN HR icon, and select “Submit” to enroll in this session.

If you require an accommodation to attend this program, please contact Human Resources at x5168 at least seven business days in advance of the program.

Withdraw from Session: If you need to cancel your registration, select the “Self” icon in CSU Learn.  Select “Learning,” then “Registrations.”  Select the box next to the session you need to cancel, and select “Cancel Registration.”  In the next window, select “Confirm Cancellation.”

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