Course Description

Today’s business environment challenges organizations to increase productivity, improve quality, shorten cycle time, and reduce costs.

An unfortunate but natural byproduct of these challenges is conflict. While conflict can lead to discoveries such as new ideas and innovative breakthroughs, it can if allowed to escalate, result in damage to critical working relationships.  

Course Outline

This course teaches leaders how to recognize the signs of escalating conflict and take appropriate action to minimize damage. Leaders are introduced to two resolution tactics—coach and mediate—and practice using the Interaction Essentials as they coach then negotiate to resolve a conflict. 

  • Accountability and Conflict: Facilitator introduces the course and leads a discussion of the stages of the conflict. Learners build the Accountability Matrix, a construct that identifies behaviors that help leaders to either facilitate or enable conflict and employees to either take ownership or avoid resolution of conflict. Learners reflect on a series of questions about how well they promote conflict resolution.
  • Coaching to Meet Personal Needs: Facilitator explains when to coach an employee and when to step in and mediate. The role of the key principles, especially empathy and involvement, in addressing people’s personal needs during conflict is emphasized. Learners watch a video leader who defuses emotions and meets the individual requirements of an employee who is involved in dispute. Learners discuss how asking powerful, open-ended questions can include people and strengthen their commitment to resolving conflict.
  • Coaching to Meet Practical Needs: Facilitator leads a discussion on how the Interaction Guidelines can help leaders work through people’s practical needs in conflict discussions. Learners watch the leader from the previous video as she coaches her employee to resolve the conflict.
  • Coaching Skill Practice: Participants conduct two prepared skill practices using the coaching resolution tactic.
  • Mediating Toward a Common Goal: Participants discuss the difference between coaching and negotiating and are given a list of tips for a successful mediation. They then conduct a prepared mediating skill practice where two partners play the role of the people in conflict.
  • Session Close: Learners reflect on their course experience and how they can use the skills and techniques to resolve conflict back in the workplace successfully.

Learner Outcomes

At the end of this program, learners will be able to:  

  • Reduce the damaging effects of workplace conflict on individuals, groups, and the organization
  • Effectively address workplace conflict and enhance productivity, efficiency, and morale
  • Help others take responsibility for resolving their conflicts
  • Promote a culture of trust and mutual respect within their workgroup


It is suggested that participants complete Communicating for Leadership Success prior to taking this course. 


"I always appreciate the skills practice. I found the powerful questions provided to be very helpful. Using these questions can help both people start to look at things from other points of view."
Spring 2019 Participant


"Overcoming conflict in a healthy manner is great and hopefully can minimize or eliminate the challenge."
Spring 2019 Participant


“Powerful questions are definitely going into my toolbox!”
Fall 2018 Participant


“This class teaches how to effectively resolve and/or address workplace conflict which is imperative for productivity and morale.”
Fall 2018 Participant


Accrediting Associations

  • HRCI 3.5 PDC
  • SHRM 3.5 PDC

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

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