Conflict often appears in our work and home life. How well it is handled will have an impact on all future dealings. Because of our experiences with conflicting situations, we often develop particular styles or methods for resolving them. Some approaches will work well with some people, but not with others. We all need skills that can be used in a wide variety of situations.

This course aims to increase the confidence staff that may need to deal with difficult clients, staff or colleagues. It will explore practical ways to resolve conflict and offer the opportunity to practice new skills and techniques on case studies that reflect live situations.

Learning Objectives

This course will enable learner to:

  • recognise their own conflict management style and attitudes to conflict
  • create rapport and empathy for the other party through active listening skills
  • demonstrate appropriate assertiveness for the situation
  • identify methods of developing and exercising co-operative power
  • demonstrate ways of managing the emotions of all parties
  • map a conflict using a template for action
  • determine negotiation, mediation or arbitration strategies when needed.


Session 1: What is Conflict?
  • overview course structure
  • introduce course participants
  • scenario – “How would you handle it?”
  • cold versus hot conflict
  • resolved versus unresolved conflict
  • escalating levels of conflict
  • examples of conflict in the workplace
Session 2: Managing Conflict
  • consequences of handling it badly
  • case study (judging your reaction to conflict)
  • resolution styles (formal questionnaire)
  • debrief model (Thomas Kilmann)
  • impact of avoiding, forcing, smoothing, compromising & collaborating
Session 3: Developing Empathy (hearing their side)
  • listening to the words, tone, feelings
  • analysing the other person’s behaviour
  • awareness questionnaire
  • developing a question strategy
  • empathy exercise (pairs)
  • listening under pressure
Session 4: Using Appropriate Assertiveness (telling our side)
  • understanding assertion, submission and aggression
  • reactions in extreme conflict situations
  • optional questionnaire (plus discussion)
  • standing up for personal rights
  • practising assertive language (DESC scripting) using real workplace examples (or suggested ones)
  • handling criticism
Session 5: Building Co-operative Power
  • trust versus power
  • influencing strategies
  • power games (persecutor, rescuer & victim)
  • managing difficult situations (using specific scenarios)
  • handling conflict or emotional people
Session 6: Planning for the Conflict
  • defining issues, needs and fears
  • exploring different options for all parties
  • Steps to defining the conflict (preparing strategies)
Session 7: Negotiating an Outcome
  • when conflict comes to you (no preparation time)
  • when you go to the conflict (you you have time and are prepared)
  • when alternate dispute resolution techniques are necessary
  • practice session (rehearsal using ‘real conflict situation’ or prepared scenario)
  • debrief exercise (identify key learning)
  • course summary, evaluation, close

Target Audience

Staff dealing with difficult or conflict situations.


One day (9.00am – 5.00pm)

Maximum Participants



Posted on

February 22, 2016