The Consulting Pairs approach to conflict resolution is a brand of workplace diversity training developed by Pope & Associates. It is designed to address tension in workplace relationships that stems from discrimination or perceived discrimination.
A company may find that workplace disputes that stem from racial, sexual and cultural differences are best handled by people whose backgrounds and work experience mirror those of the parties involved in the dispute. Many turn to the Consulting Pairs approach to diversity training, which allows employees to resolve disputes with the help of fellow employees who share their backgrounds.
The approach involves sending 15 to 20 employees representing a variety of races, genders and cultures to engage in an intensive three-week training program about how different backgrounds can shape attitudes towards fellow employees. Upon their return, graduates of the program are paired with employees with similar backgrounds and work experience who are involved in disputes.
While the Consulting Pairs approach may identify a racial, cultural or gender-based issue that is fuelling a dispute, it can also determine when the problem lies elsewhere. For example, according to a New York Times article, this approach found that one racially-charged dispute between a black engineer and a white marketer was rooted in the difference between marketing and engineering approaches to problem solving.