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Sauder School of Business

Conflict Management Strategies

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Explore ways to make conflict management a core element of organizational strategy through the adoption of conflict resolution structures and processes including third-party roles. Prevent conflicts when possible, and resolve them in a fair and considerate manner when they do occur. Practice techniques for managing conflict on personal and team levels, and leave with an action plan for applying a conflict resolution process in your organization.

The course includes techniques for managing conflicts between managers and workers, as well as between co-workers. It does not cover legal, contractual or societal conflicts.


  • Understand workplace conflict from a strategic perspective
  • Adapt your conflict response style to particular situations
  • Respond more effectively to the emotional content of conflict
  • Develop collaborative and communication skills to better help avoid and resolve conflicts
  • Frame and set boundaries around conflict
  • Mobilize third-party techniques to help others resolve conflicts
  • Design and implement team-based conflict management and employee advocacy systems

Program content

  • Sources and types of conflict
  • Alternative ways of responding to conflict: aggressive, assertive and problem-solving responses--how do you tend to respond?
  • Managing conflict resolution: surfacing inexplicit conflict so it can be treated, developing and facilitating an effective conflict resolution process
  • Communication: obstacles to communication, using collaborative language, listening with empathy, speaking assertively
  • Making conflict resolution a strategic organizational objective
  • Making conflict OK: avoiding reactance, learning from conflict, reducing the corrosive impact of conflict while fostering its creative potential

Special Features

You will develop personal and team conflict profiles, and design a plan for better managing conflict at both levels. You’ll also apply conflict resolution practices to your own work situation.

Who should attend

Front-line supervisors, team leaders and middle managers charged with responsibility for maintaining a healthy and productive workplace.


Dr. Thomas R. Knight has over 30 years' experience as an educator, consultant and facilitator in a variety of areas of managerial and leadership practice. His areas of particular expertise include labour-management relations, negotiations, conflict resolution, leading change and transitions and a...


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