Course Outcomes

This conflict resolution course will:

  • Teach participants to recognize the causes of workplace conflicts.
  • Explain how differences in communication styles can produce tense situations.
  • Suggest solutions for managing cultural expectations and differences.
  • Provide multiple tactics for better listening.
  • Give participants an arsenal of facilitation techniques for managing tough conversations.

Course Overview

If people are in the workplace, at some point conflict is inevitable. This workshop addresses communication skills for dealing with disagreements. During the hands-on program, we’ll look at tools for defining problems, choosing a strategy, following a process, showing respect for and listening to others, appreciating cultural differences, and using an outside facilitator if the parties involved are unable to reach a resolution on their own.

Program Objectives

At the program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Identify factors that create conflicts in the workplace.
  • Choose a conflict-resolution strategy.
  • Implement a procedure to resolve disagreement.
  • Exercise listening skills taught in the program to improve the chances for open communication.
  • Appreciate how cultural experience and diversity affect interpretations of situations.
  • Seek third-party facilitators when solutions are not readily available.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Why the Waters Get Rough: Factors that Create Workplace Conflict

In this opening discussion, participants will consider a case study and answer a range of questions about conflict. Next, participants will quickly assess their conflict resolution knowledge and existing patterns of behavior. Following that activity, we will explore multiple causes for workplace dissension. In addition to identifying some of the causes, participants will consider the potential consequences – individual and organizational  – that are possible when problems are not resolved.

Charting the Course: Steering Toward a Safe Harbor

This part of the program looks at conflict outcomes and the importance of having a plan. Participants will consider various strategies and the conditions that should exist in order for each to be a viable option. Next, the group will spend time talking about the win-win strategy and roadblocks that often prevent people from adopting it. During this portion of the course, we will also look at a simple resolution process and the activities that typically occur during each phase. Following that exercise, participants will work with a strategic planning tool as they prepare for a role-play exercise. 

Taking the Helm: Tactics for Resolving Disagreements

In this course component, participants will discover how listening is a powerful skill for preventing conflicts. Through the use of hands-on exercises, they will see that being silent while others speak is often the most crucial step in pinpointing the causes for workplace difficulties. By engaging in listening activities, they will see how body language as much as verbal language can be used to put others at ease, convey empathy, and pave the way for honest communication. 

Different Folks, Different Strokes: Understanding Cultural Variety

In this portion of the training, participants will discuss situations in which conflicts might arise as a result of cultural expectations and differences. They will explore how previous experiences, beliefs, and values influence perceptions, and they will discuss ways to anticipate potential problems stemming from such differences and tactics for keeping unnecessary conflicts from occurring. 

When You Run Aground: Help on the Horizon

Sometimes it is simply impossible for two parties to reach a resolution on their own. At that point, often the best option is to call in a mediator. A mediator’s job is rather like a cruise director. He or she does not determine the course of action. Rather, the mediator guides the others through the resolution process. This final workshop segment looks at mediation and questions to ask when using a neutral party to facilitate discussions. 

At the conclusion of this conflict-resolution training workshop, participants should have command of some basic tools for addressing workplace disagreements.