LELA 101 Top 10 Primer: Managing Conflicts on Elected Boards: A Roundtable Discussion by Local Elected Officials

Elected Boards and Councils make public policy decisions at every meeting that have both pros and cons. Sometimes these discussions can get heated; sometimes tensions flare. Emotions can easily hijack these debates.  Such conflict dynamics can be anxiety-provoking at the least, and at their worst can be truly harmful to healthy board member relationships.  

Hearing from fellow local elected officials about their personal experiences in managing conflict is a great way to learn what works well and what to avoid. 

In this Top 10 Primer on Managing Conflicts on Elected Boards: A Roundtable Discussion by Local Elected Officials, SOG Faculty expert John B. Stephens will moderate a discussion among municipal and county alumni of the SOG’s Advanced Leadership Corps. Stephens’ fields of expertise include public dispute resolution, mediation and facilitation. He is co-author of Reaching for Higher Ground: Tools for Powerful Groups. 

This is a highly interactive and quick-moving on-line class. Stephens will present brief tips and practical tools for dealing with conflicts in the moment. He will then moderate a Roundtable Discussion to hear from peer elected officials who are Ambassadors from the SOG Advanced Leadership Corps program.  Each of our panelists will talk about a challenge they have faced and share their strategies for dealing with the tensions.  They will highlight what worked well and confess what might have worked better.

Audience members will be encouraged to share through discussion or the group Chat function, their own conflict situations and seek pointers for possible approaches.

This Roundtable Discussion is a stand-alone free LELA class and it also serves as a helpful skill-building supplement to the class “When Differences of Opinion Escalate:  Conflict Resolution Skills for Local Elected Officials”.


The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners provides cost offsets for county elected officials to attend LELA courses. For information on this discount please click the link below.

CEU1.25 hrs
There currently are no scheduled offerings of this course.
For all registration questions, resetting passwords, or login issues please contact:

Dale Zuckert

Assistant Registrar
For questions regarding course details, including location, schedule, materials, and continuing education credits, please contact:

Susan Jensen

Program Manager, Management, Administration, and Leadership Group
Manager of Elected Official Programming, Center for Public Leadership and Governance
Associate Professor of Public Administration and Government