Conflict Resolution: Getting Along in the Workplace

Whether we like it or not, conflict happens in the workplace and it simply is a fact of life!

Since we can’t prevent conflict, the most important thing is to learn how to handle or manage it in productive ways. In many industries, the amount of time spent on conflict management is surprisingly high!

What is critical for resolving conflict is developing an understanding of, and a trust in, shared goals. It requires openness, discipline, and creativity. Showing respect for other people and not blaming them enables people to work for mutual benefit.

There are no magical phrases or simple procedures for managing conflict. However, there are several strategies for coping with conflict. Knowing when and how to use these techniques can make you a more productive team member, and a highly effective leader.

At the end of this workshop, participants should be familiar with:

  • What conflict is and how it can escalate
  • The five most common conflict resolution styles
  • How to increase positive information flow through non-verbal and verbal communication skills
  • Some effective techniques for intervention
  • How to strengthen staff trust and morale
  • How to be more confident of their ability to manage conflicts

Course Outline:

Introduction and Course Overview

You will spend the first part of the day getting to know participants and discussing what will take place during the workshop. Students will also have an opportunity to identify their personal learning objectives.

Defining Conflict

During this session, you will give participants a chance to explore some assumptions about conflict and the positives and negatives of conflict.

Types of Conflict

This session will cover three main types of conflict: inner, interpersonal, and group. We will also look at open conflict vs. hidden conflict.

Spontaneous and Reflective Action

When people are under stress, they are more apt to revert to spontaneous action and then regret their choice of words. This session explores spontaneous and reflective action through a brief lecture.

Johari Windows

The Johari Window is a way of looking at our self-awareness and our ability to ask feedback of others. We will look at the Johari Window in detail through a personal exercise and a case study.

Stages of Conflict

During this session, we will look at two models of the conflict process, some possible outcomes of a conflict, and strategies for dealing with conflict.

Win as Much as You Can

This quick, fun exercise gives participants a break and helps them learn about conflict outcomes.

Conflict Resolution Style Questionnaire

Participants will individually complete a questionnaire to help them identify their style of conflict resolution. Then, they will work in small groups to further examine their style.

The Role of Communication in Conflict Resolution

Active listening, paraphrasing, questioning, and body language are just a few of the tools that we can use to resolve conflict. We will look at all of these concepts in detail through lectures and role plays.

Seven Steps to Ironing Things Out

There are seven easy things that you can do to start resolving conflict. We will explore each method briefly in a short lecture.

The Conflict/Opportunity Test

Using a role play, this session will give participants some questions that can help them identify the benefits of a conflict.

Conflict and Its Resolution

This session will look at a few processes that we can use to identify and resolve conflict.

Facilitating Conflict

Facilitation skills have become a cornerstone of many leadership models. This session will look at facilitation and how it can be applied to conflict. Participants will also practice facilitation skills in a role play.

Setting Norms

Norms are a set of rules that a group agrees to act by. Setting norms during a conflict situation can help members stay calm, rational, and focused on the problem.

Making an Intervention

Leaders often find themselves in a situation where they need to intervene to help a group resolve conflict. This session will explore some ways to intervene effectively.

Workshop Wrap-Up

At the end of the day, participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and fill out an action plan.