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Conflict Resolutions


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Conflict Resolution Skills


This course is provides participants with tools for managing conflict in the workplace. It will familiarize employees with mediation theory and process. Participants will gain experience with successful approaches for resolving conflict, including alternative dispute resolution and mediation techniques. This is a highly interactive workshop that utilizes simulations, case studies, and role-plays to provide participants with the opportunity to put theory into practice.


  • Develop an understanding of Alternative Dispute Resolution theory and processes
  • Enhance your communication and problem-solving techniques to manage workplace conflicts
  • Understand how the use of reliable approaches for resolving conflict, including mediation, can bring about successful resolutions

Course Length

1 Day


Workbook that includes all course information and activities, including exercises written for government employees and the Conflict-Management Style Inventory.


Case studies, participative lecture (with Power Point presentation), game, small and large group activities, self-assessments.


All Staff

Competencies addressed

Conflict management

Course Outline

  • Opening

    • The M & M Game/Crossed Hands
    • Conflict Word Association
  • Conflict Management Style Survey

    • (Marc Jacobs, published by Pfeiffer)
  • Causes of Conflict

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Develop an understanding of Alternative Dispute Resolution theory and processes

    The Mediation Process

    • Introduction and ground rules
    • Defining the problem
      Activity: Feelings vs. Thoughts Game
    • Finding solutions
      Activity: The Brainstorming Game
    • Final agreement

    Discussion: Characteristics of a good mediator

    Commununication techniques of good mediators

    • Paraphrasing
    • Asking pertinent questions
    • Attending - Demonstrating body language that shows interest
    • Active listening
    • Mediation Practice

Teamwork Skills Workshop


In this 1-day workshop participants learn key skills and tools for working in teams: building trust and unity, using problem solving and decision-making tools, identifying and committing to team goals, and communicating in ways that are positive and professional. The workshop provides many opportunities, through activities, games, and a simulation, for interaction and learning.


As a result of participating in the Teamwork Skills training workshop participants will:

  • Know how to foster an environment of trust and unity that encourages and acknowledges cooperation
  • Know how to do collective problem solving
  • Know how to involve all team members in the decision making process to build group commitment
  • Know how to Identify and support team goals
  • Know how to keep interactions with others appropriate and professional

Course Outline

  • Introduction/Overview

  • What work teams really do

    Large group activity:

    • List sports teams you like.
    • List work teams you are familiar with (ER, operating room, Indy 500, sales and customer service, research, other).
    • Identify what teams that help them succeed.
    • Make a master list of what we can do on our work teams to help us succeed.
  • What Effective Team Members Do

    • Self-assessment: The 12 Key Behaviors of Effective Team Members
    • Presentation: What really counts in being an effective team member.
  • How to Foster an Environment of Trust and Unity

    • Discussion: Stages of Team Development
    • Simulation: Jungle Escape. Participants work in teams to build a helicopter from toy parts. [Kits and workbooks for this activity are provided.] Team members discuss what works and what doesn't work (in terms of individual behaviors) in accomplishing the goal.

    Simulation Objectives:

    • Experience the various task and interpersonal issues that occur when people undertake a project that requires joint problem solving and decision making. Understand how to build trust within a team.
    • Increase awareness of the impact of each team member's behavior on team unity, team productivity, and team member satisfaction.
    • Demonstrate the effect of planning on group results.
    • How Teams Solve Problems and Make Team Decisions

      • Creative Problem Solving
        • The Koosh Game (Brainstorming)
        • How can I? - What if? - What's feasible?
        • Case - to be customized to NIH
      • Systematic Problem Solving - Finding the Cause
      • Rational Decision-making
        • How to make quick decisions
        • How to make a criteria matrix to make the right decision
    • How Teams Set Goals

      • Discussion: Why teams need shared goals/What happens when a team lacks commitment to a shared goal.
      • Activity: Writing S.M.A.R.T. Objectives.
    • How Team Members Communicate - Be positive and be professional!

      • Activity: Team members brainstorm on their most vexing communication problems and then work in small groups to come up with solutions.
      • Resources [to be provided]
        • Helpful/Harmful Communication Styles
          Activity: Developing Style Flexibility
        • Supportive Communication
        • Pause/Reflect/Act
        • Feedback Guidelines
        • Guidelines for Difficult Conversations
      • Activity: How Team Members Handle Conflict. Team members discuss the sources of conflict on their teams. They then come up with suggestions for dealing with the conflict.
    • Summary - Next Steps

      • Action Plan: What does each of you need to do now to be an outstanding team member?
        • Which of the 12 Behaviors of Effective Team Members can I commit to doing immediately?