Training Programmes

Conflict Management and Skills Courses

Having worked with Wandsworth Council and a number of Housing Associations for over a decade, we have recently developed a course specifically for housing officers that helps to equip housing officers to handle the first stages of conflict and to have the right knowledge and information to refer them to mediation if necessary.

Feedback from previous courses:

“Very relevant to job and will use skills daily.”

“Engaging and thought provoking.  Some new techniques and skills learnt.”

“The delivery of course was very good, paced at the [right] level, very clear.  Trainers very good, felt very comfortable”

“The instructors are very good and kept the group using their minds.  Quality course.”

“Enjoyed the interactions and not just having people talking at us all day.”

“Role plays allowed us to utilise skills learnt.”

Conflict-Awareness Skills Workshops: 1 day

We have developed another course for anyone dealing with conflict in their places of work who might have to deal with people in conflict with each other, or whether there might be friction within the families that they work with.  It helps participants to feel more confident in dealing with tension between other people, and when it is directed at them.  We teach participants skills to help with listening and responding, and to help people to communicate better with each other.

The objectives of this course are:

To equip participants to handle the first stages of conflict, and communicate with both people without taking sides.  Empowering participants to deal with conflict in a more positive way. Identifying issues between people in dispute. Managing your response to others in conflict.  Developing listening skills. Understanding when to refer them to mediation.

The contents of the course:

1.     To understand what conflict is, how it starts and how it can escalate.

2.     Understanding how you respond to conflict, and identifying common emotions and responses.

3.      To understand the layers that are under anger and conflict and the role of feelings in conflict.

4.     Learning how to ask open questions to find out the issues between the parties.

5.     Learning to listen actively and to summarise what you have heard.

6.     Learning how to express feelings in a constructive way, without using blaming language (reframing).  These skills can be used to change the emphasis of a statement by one party in conflict so it can be heard by the other party.

7.     To introduce mediation, its purpose and the key principles: voluntary, confidential, mediators are impartial, solutions are suggested by the parties and are not imposed by the mediators, thinking about the future, identifying common ground.

The sessions are very interactive, with small group discussions, role plays and diagrams.

This course can be held at your offices or at WMS office. It is ideal for new housing officers, social workers and those working with families to equip them to deal with disputes, as they are the first point of call.  WMS can help at any time, but we have found that the longer the dispute continues, the harder it is to persuade the parties to agree to mediate. For more information please contact the service manager, Jenny.

Conflict Management Course for teachers

We have developed a one day course for teachers in primary or secondary schools. The aim of the course is to understand how conflict arises in the workplace, what conflict is and how to resolve it through the tools of mediation. It is specifically focused on the school setting and looks at some of the nature of disputes that arise within schools (be that between teachers, teachers and management or between parents and the school).

The course covers:

  • Looking at the different models of conflict and styles of conflict
  • Empowering participants to deal with conflict in a positive way
  • Introducing mediation and discuss the key principles: future thinking, win/win, positions and interests, active listening etc.
  • Encouraging participants to start developing the skills of a mediator (through specific school-related role plays)

The course is very interactive - with a mixture of theory, discussion groups and role plays.  We can tailor the course to any specific needs that might be relevant to your school.
This course can either be delivered at a school during an inset day or WMS are running 4 one day courses like this at their offices for teachers from different schools. For more information please contact the service manager, Jenny.

Conflict Resolution Workshops for pupils

This course is run in primary or secondary schools over a 6 week period for 1 ½ hour sessions with either whole year groups or selected pupils (of groups of around 15 pupils). Our trainers are both mediators, and mediator trainers.  They deliver the course at the school, taking into account any specific areas where training is needed. It’s a very interactive workshop with the use of multi-media, role-plays, discussions and drama under a theoretical backdrop. The purpose of the course is to enable pupils to develop the tools to engage in conflict constructively and uses some of the tools of mediation. We can tailor the course to any specific needs of your school.

The course covers:

  • The nature of conflict

    Conflict is not always a “bad” thing. It can be used constructively and creatively to find solutions to difficult problems. Differences of views and opinions help create a diverse and interesting world. If we all agreed on everything, the quality and interest of our world would be greatly diminished.

  • How conflict can escalate

    When conflict escalates it can soon get out of hand and appear unmanageable. Once someone has stepped on to “the conflict escalator” it can be very difficult to get off or come back down. Escalated conflict often resulted in anger, upset and often violent confrontation.

  • The iceberg of conflict

    We can assist ourselves by learning to look at what is really going on in any given conflict. Conflict is like an iceberg in that by far the greatest part of it lies beneath the surface. We need to consider what is really beneath the surface appearance of any conflict. In order to be open in our thinking about any given conflict we need to avoid making assumptions, jumping to conclusions, or approaching issues with prejudice. We need to give ourselves the best chance of seeing the whole of the iceberg.

Discussions and role plays on the course focus on the following areas:

  • Understanding and being understood are key elements in any successful conflict resolution. There are (at least) two sides to every conflict. Clearly delivered statements could enable ‘the other side’ to understand a point of view contributed to better relations. Asking helpful questions of the other side allows for a better informed discussion.
  • Looking at some of the neurological responses to “fight or flight” and what could be done to overcome trigger responses.
  • Discussing the techniques which the students can adopt to better manage conflict in their lives, include the following:
    • Pausing before engaging
    • Allowing oneself to find a calmness before responding
    • Adopting a calm tone of voice
    • Assessing the importance of any potential conflict to them
    • Focussing on providing clear information and getting clear understanding
    • Not imposing demands on others within a given conflict
    • Knowing when to engage and when to wait
    • Acknowledging “red flags”
    • Being able to state clearly how another’s behaviour has made one feel, rather than making accusations which might escalate conflict
    • Understanding, and adopting helpful, body language
    • Avoiding reproachful responses

For more information please contact the service manager, Jenny.