Communication Skills for Conflict Management

Learn about CORE PLUS, DOI's integrated approach to managing conflict in the workplace. 

Discover the spectrum of options for dealing with conflict: from tools and training, to alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and rights-based options.

Recognize the many points of entry to finding assistance through the services of CORE PLUS.


Discusion Questions:

1. In your own work, have you experienced a time when conflict was a "creative and positive force" that let do a better outcome?

2. What are the advantages of dealing with conflict early on? What services are available through CORE PLUS for supporting you?

3. Reflect on a time when a third party facilitator or mediator could have helped you manage a conflict or dispute.

Click here to listen to this video as a podcast. 

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The ladder of inference is a tool to help us recognize how our perceptions and assumptions can affect our beliefs and actions. 

It reminds us to pause and check in, make our assumptions explicit, and take the time to explore everyone else's.

Discussion Questions:


1. Think of a time recently when you ran up the ladder of inference. What data did you select to focus on? What assumptions, conclusions, beliefs and actions did that lead you to? 

2. What are the benefits of "walking slowly back down the ladder"? What actions will help you to do this?  

Click here to listen to this video as a podcast. 

Listen in iTunes.

Recognize how our behaviors, perceptions and assumptions can contribute to conflict. 

Learn to recognize emotionality, and what communication skills can help you through a difficult conversation.

Explore alternative strategies for responding to conflict and negotiating an agreement.

Discussion Questions:

1. Think of a situation where you were in conflict in the workplace. What was your reaction to that conflict? How did you respond? Were there assumptions that you or the other party made that contributed to the conflict?

2. When might you want to Avoid a conflict? Compete? When would collaboration be the best strategy for handling conflict?

3. In your work this week, put into practice one of the strategies or skills for communicating and handling conflict from this video (e.g., summarizing, reframing, asking open ended questions, making assumptions explicit, recognize emotionality, etc.)

Susan Goodwin

Susan Goodwin

Collaboration and Conflict Management Specialist
DOI, Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution
Partnership and Community Collaboration Academy


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