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How do I Choose the Best Conflict Resolution Training?

K. Testa
K. Testa

As a business owner, manager, or supervisor, you might be searching for the best type of conflict resolution training for your organization. Resolving workplace conflict with formal classes can have many benefits. Effective trainers and programs usually explore the general roots of conflict, and help employees examine the causes of their specific clashes at work. Successful dispute resolution courses can also involve learning effective communication skills. Ultimately, there may be some follow-up required by managers to determine whether their instruction has been successful.

Conflict resolution training can have several benefits. A primary motivation for seeking instruction to resolve disputes is to avoid tense situations that might escalate. Successful training can help avoid the involvement of third parties, such as union representatives. Otherwise, workplace conflict can lead to lawsuits or employee strikes.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Another benefit of conflict resolution training is that it typically educates co-workers about how to solve disputes themselves. They are often advised to leave managers out of the conflict unless necessary, since it can save time and money when they do not have to stray from their own work to focus on employee management problems. Effective training can also help avoid a hostile work environment through promoting effective communication. Such strategies have been shown to improve morale and increase productivity, often resulting in lower rates of employee absenteeism and turnover.

The format of a conflict resolution training program can vary. For example, training can take place in-house, or off-site with a hired trainer or facilitator. It could also be offered as a webinar or other type of online training module. Managers might choose a certain format based on specific workplace issues, or on their priorities regarding budget and which employees are to be trained.

During conflict resolution training, a facilitator will usually attempt to get to the root of a problem and determine why it exists. This can be done both by examining the nature of conflict in general, as well as by having the parties involved discuss their grievances. Conflict resolution training teaches people how to communicate their needs effectively while learning how to mediate. It may include role-playing and teaching participants how to construct agreements. Typically, good conflict resolution training addresses the specific issues of the organization. Often, managers or supervisors need specialized training to deal with conflicts between employees. On the other hand, some organizations may need to offer general information to all of their employees.

Managers can use several different methods to try to assess whether the training has been effective. They can look at statistics, such as employee retention and the number of grievance reports. They might also evaluate employee behavior, either formally or informally, noting whether staff members are implementing the lessons learned from their conflict resolution training.

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