Centre for Continuing Education

Conflict Management and Mediation Skills Course

Management. Lift your career and your organisation.

COVID-19 update: arrangement of our courses

We are now delivering courses online and in-person. Please check the delivery format of each class before enrolling.

Please note that course materials (excluding prescribed texts) are shared electronically within 48 hours of course commencement. Printing is not available.

Sorting out conflict is one of the most challenging responsibilities you’ll face as a people manager. Learn to meet that challenge with confidence, using simple mediation techniques. Minimise risk and maximise team productivity by assisting your people to sort out ‘personality differences’, disagreements and conflicts.


Take your people management skills to a higher level, by learning simple mediation techniques. Decide when it’s appropriate for you to mediate and when you need additional help from a professional. Use a four-step process for addressing conflict between team members. Set a constructive tone for discussion, using positive framing techniques. Help team members discuss their needs and concerns successfully, by posing solution-focused questions. Use conflict-mapping techniques to facilitate problem-solving discussions. This course gives you practical tools for addressing team conflict in the early stages and preserving positive team dynamics.


By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • apply basic mediation techniques appropriately in a workplace context
  • define mediation and the manager’s role in informal mediations
  • plan and lead a simple mediation conversation, using a four-step process
  • establish ground rules for the discussion and explain the mediation process to others
  • help team members isolate and address key issues in their conflict
  • map the perspectives of each party, to build mutual understanding
  • guide the process of developing mutually agreeable options and creating an action plan.


What is mediation?

Mediation is a process for resolving conflicts or disputes. It aims to create solutions to problems and resolve workplace disagreements constructively. Discuss a range of ways team conflict can be addressed, and use a simple checklist to determine whether informal mediation will be a useful approach to take in your team’s situation.

Your role as mediator

A mediator’s role is to facilitate, not adjudicate. Discuss the difference between these two approaches and learn how to set the frame for a mediation session. Apply key principles of effective mediation in your workplace setting. Learn the dos and don’ts of your role as mediator.

Planning and structuring a mediation

Define the key stages of a mediation. Create a plan for your mediation. Prepare a suitable environment for the mediation session. Explain the mediation process to your team members and set boundaries and guidelines for the conversation.

Helping people focus on issues

Stage one of mediation is defining the core issue/s to be addressed. This isn’t always simple, as emotions may be running high at the start of the conversation. Learn how to facilitate a conversation in which your team members define the key issue in neutral language. Open the mediation on a positive note. Help others separate the people from the problem – so they can address the issue logically rather than emotionally. Use fishbone diagrams to identify potential contributing factors.

Drawing out needs and concerns

Before people can generate options for resolving their differences, they need to fully understand each other’s needs and concerns. Discover how to frame and guide a conversation about these two key elements. Use neutral questions and reflective statements to facilitate an open exchange of perspectives, whilst maintaining a respectful and psychologically safe space. Create a ‘conflict map’ to guide the conversation and track the key needs and concerns as they emerge.

Facilitating the solution-building process

The aim of mediation is to build win-win solutions. Learn how to explain what win-win is to your staff. Use solution focused questions to guide the solution-building process. Create an option generator to deal with complex issues or use simple brainstorming techniques to keep the conversation outcome-focused.

Building an action plan and closing the mediation

The output of a successful mediation discussion is an action plan. Use nominal group technique to guide your team members through the process of selecting their best options and creating their action plan. Ensure that a follow-up meeting is scheduled to check on progress with implementing this plan. Use positive framing techniques to close the conversation on a high note.

Intended audience

Suitable for managers, supervisors and team leaders, who have at least 3 years' experience in people management. It would also benefit business owners and entrepreneurs seeking to improve their influencing skills.


As this course is suitable for people who are in management or senior supervisory roles, it is assumed you already possess basic skills in active listening, questioning and leading workplace conversations as well as experience managing people.

Delivery style

You’ll learn through a variety of methods including:

  • mini-lectures
  • practical demonstrations
  • role plays or simulations in which you apply new skills
  • group discussions
  • Q & A sessions
  • detailed course notes
  • custom-made video vignettes.


Course handouts will be provided in class.

Recommended reading

Bannink, F 2010, Handbook of solution-focused conflict-management, Hogrefe, Ashland, Ohio.

Blake, S 2018, Practical Approaches to Alternative Dispute Resolution, Oxford University Press, S.I.

Cialdini, R 2001, Influence: Science and Practice Fourth Edition, Allyn and Bacon, London, UK.

Cornelius, H & Shoshana, F 1995, Everyone Can Win: How to Resolve Conflict, Simon & Schuster, East Roseville, NSW.

Dweck, CS 2017, Mindset [Kindle iOS version].

Fisher, R & Ury, W 1997, Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving in, Arrow.

Furlong, GT 2005, The Conflict Resolution Toolbox: Models and Maps for Analyzing, Diagnosing and Resolving Conflict, John Wiley, Chichester.

Liley, RC 2010, Dealing with Difficult People: Handle Aggression; Manage Conflict; Motivate Poor Performers (Sunday Times Creating Success).

Mnookin, RH 2000, Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes, Harvard University Press.

Moore, CW 2014, The mediation process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict, Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Brand, San Francisco.

Patton, B, Stone, D, & Heen, S 2011, Difficult conversations: How to discuss what matters most, Portfolio/Penguin, London.

Polsky, L & Gerschel, A 2011, Perfect Phrases for Conflict Resolution: Hundreds of Ready-to-use Phrases for Encouraging a More Productive and Efficient Work Environment, McGraw-Hill, NY.

Schein, E 2013, Humble Inquiry (1st ed.), Berrett-Koehler Publishers, San Francisco.

Shakiba, E 2016, Difficult People Made Easy: Practical Advice for Solving Your People Problems and Getting the Most Out of Your Workplace, New Holland.

Ury, W 1992, Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People, Random House, London.

Ury, W 2007, The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes, Bantam Books, NY.

Ury, W 2016, Getting to Yes with Yourself: How to Get What you Truly Want, HarperOne, An Imprint of HarperCollins, NY.

Whatling, T 2012, Mediation Skills and Strategies: A Practical Guide, Jessica Kingsley, London.


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Course materials – yours to keep
  • CCE Statement of Completion

Conflict Management and Mediation Skills Course

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Conflict Management and Mediation Skills Course

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