Queen's University IRC

Strategies for Workplace Conflicts

Practical and Effective Conflict Resolution Skills for Managing Everyday Workplace Disputes




Every workplace experiences conflicts. How we respond to and handle these issues is an important measure of our effectiveness as managers and leaders.

Strategies for Workplace Conflicts focuses on how managers and leaders approach common workplace disputes in a constructive and effective way. Using case studies, hands-on exercises and small group work, you will learn how to anticipate and better understand the dynamics of workplace conflicts. This highly interactive program features practical tools and multiple exercises that build on one another as well as extended opportunities to practice different intervention strategies and conflict resolution skills in the context of common everyday workplace interactions. You will leave with a number of tools and techniques to assist you to deal with challenging situations.


May 09 - May 11, 2023 Halifax Details will be provided after registration. May 04 $3,895
Oct 11 - Oct 13, 2023 Calgary Details will be provided after registration. Oct 06 $3,895




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Our program includes discussions, case studies, role play, tools, and reflective exercises to develop skills that you can apply directly in your workplace.

a) Understanding Conflict

Learn about how conflict can lead to positive learning and growth, how our brains respond in conflict, how to distinguish between different sources of conflict, how to leverage positive features of conflict and what motivates people in conflict through discussion, interactive presentations and simulation exercises. We’ll discuss interpersonal conflict and the impact of power, gender, culture and generational dynamics. Additionally, we will address a wide range of intervention tools and how to select an appropriate option. You’ll also learn about the conflict triggers that result in escalation, tools to identify root causes of conflicts and ways to improve interpersonal communication both in person and using digital communication

b) Difficult Conversations, Difficult Behaviours

Conflict avoidance is sometimes a viable and strategic option. However, it can also lead to never-ending festering problems or even escalated conflicts. We need to know how to raise difficult issues and to respond effectively when others challenge or confront us. We’ll examine why certain types of conflict are challenging and discuss different approaches for engaging difficult conversations, especially with people exhibiting difficult behaviours.

c) Coaching

Conflict coaching is about learning and growth. It helps a person to build capacity to prepare for and deal more effectively with a wide range of conflicts. We’ll teach you when to use coaching, how to use powerful questions to prepare people to engage in conflict more effectively, and how to prompt others to take constructive approaches to resolving conflicts. Part of being a great manager and leader is empowering and teaching others to engage in a conflict on their own, rather than handling it for them, and we will prepare you to do just that.

d) Group Conflict

Some of the most difficult conflicts arise within teams, and sometimes between teams or units. We’ll talk about how to identify early problems with team collaboration, and how to evaluate the source of the problem which could be a particularly difficult individual, a lack of direction and leadership, interpersonal conflict, or an organizational issue. You’ll learn and practice effective facilitation skills among people with varied issues, needs, and wants. You’ll also learn how group dynamics in team meetings can both work to escalate and de-escalate organizational conflict in order for the team to work better together and improve decision making.

e) Structural Conflict

Your organization’s structure may be unintentionally contributing to conflict dynamics. We’ll review several potential structure sources of conflict – for example, how decisions are made, or how co-ordination takes place between two units or teams, and discuss how to focus on what can and cannot be changed.

f) Self Care

Dealing with conflict in the workplace is stressful. We will discuss and practice reflective strategies and techniques to improve how you respond and react to conflictual situations.


Joan Sabott

Lead Facilitator
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Joan Sabott

Joan Sabott is a practitioner, consultant, trainer, teacher, and coach in conflict engagement and resolution.  Currently, she is an adjunct faculty at Creighton University in Omaha, NE, USA, on leadership and conflict.  Joan is an Affiliated Practitioner and former Senior Program Manager with The Langdon Group. She has consulted on various projects in the organizational sector for businesses and public agencies, and on environmental projects in the substantive areas of water, transportation, and land use and planning.  Project experience ranges from high-level water negotiations in California, to the use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park, to the dissolution of firms, to the team management and development alongside major technology improvement projects.

Additionally, she manages various projects that fall under the organizational umbrella for agencies, where she supports more effective conflict engagement, improved communication and teamwork, and better decision making.  Prior to joining The Langdon Group, Joan worked with CDR Associates, a premier mediation and facilitation firm in Boulder, Colorado. From one day (or hour) to the next, she is mediating, facilitating, coaching, advocating and providing impromptu training sessions on conflict-related topics. This work is exciting and challenging and requires many different leadership strategies. Practice complements teaching and training.  They inform one another.  Joan tends to seek out ways in the training sessions to marry practice and theory.

Joan holds a B.S.B.A. in History, a Certificate in Secondary Education, and a Masters in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution. All degrees have been awarded by Creighton University.