Managing Differences Seminar: Dispute Resolution Training for Students

The Seminar is the most effective way to learn to manage the differences that impair teamwork, quality, decision-making, job motivation, and cooperation. The Seminar is designed for any individual who works interdependently with others. Participants will learn some of the same tools used by professional mediators. Organizational leaders can quickly learn Mediation techniques to negotiate productive work relationships and find solutions to problems caused by conflict. Considered a “life skill” by many learners, it is a core workplace competency that can also be used to enhance personal relationships. Completion of training may qualify you to receive CEU Credit.

Module 1: Necessary Knowledge

Building a foundation for taking effective action.

  • Learn to think strategically about conflict, rather than react blindly to it.
  • Create a mental map for using the communication tools you will learn in Module 2.

Key Elements

  • The Big Picture
    • The three conflict management systems
    • The universal structure of conflict
    • Professional and self-help mediation
  • Beyond Common Sense: The Nature of Conflict
    • Discovering our wrong reflexes
    • The retaliatory cycle
    • Seeing the cycle, defining conflict and recognizing costs
    • Levels of conflict
  • Why Mediation Works: The Magic within the Method
    • The conciliatory cycle
    • The conflict mountain
    • The forces toward harmony
    • A paradigm shift
  • Preparing to Take Action

Module 2: Third Party Resolutions

A core workplace competency for managers, supervisors, and team leaders.  Learn a powerful communication tool to help others resolve their conflicts.

Key Elements

  • What, When and Why
    • What is managerial mediation
    • When to use managerial mediation
  • How to Perform Managerial Mediation
    • Decide to mediate
    • Hold preliminary meetings
    • Plan the context
    • Hold three-way meeting
    • Follow-up
  • The Key
  • Preventative Mediation
    • Stop conflict before it starts
  • Your Personal Action Plan

Module 3: Successful Conflict Conversations

A core workplace competency for every organization member.

  • Learn a practical communication tool for conducting successful conflict conversations.
  • Take effective action to resolve most conflicts between yourself and others.

Key Elements

  • What, When and Why
    • What is self mediation
    • When to use self mediation
    • Deciding to use self mediation
    • Preparing the issue statement
  • How to Perform Self Mediation
    • Find a time to talk
    • Plan the context
    • Talk it out
    • Make a deal
  • Your Personal Action Plan


Cost of Conflict Calculator:

What is Conflict Costing Your Organization?

The MTI Measure of Financial Cost of Organizational Conflict (Conflict Cost Calculator) gives you a closer look at the monetary costs of conflict. This eye-opening, online calculator produces an in-depth estimate of the hidden financial cost of conflict to your organization. The calculator evaluates nine cost factors influenced by conflict that directly impact your bottom line.

About the Conflict Cost Calculator

The in-depth enterprise version of the Conflict Cost Calculator is a dynamic tool that measures the cost of conflict across an organization. The calculations are based on research and up-to-date industry averages.

The enterprise version of the calculator provides measurement on the cost of conflict on:

  • Organizational Productivity
  • Manager & Employee Turnover
  • Employee Theft and Sabotage
  • Employee Health
  • Absenteeism
  • Creativity and Decision Making

Conflict Strategies Survey:

Uncover how conflict is managed in your organization. The MTI Survey of Organizational Conflict Management Strategies is an organizational assessment that helps you measure the effectiveness of your organization’s current conflict resolution strategies.

The survey is a composite of four sub-strategies: Detachment, Evasion, Collaboration, and Coercion. Each sub-strategy reflects the interaction between normative behavior and normative attitudes.

  • Normative behavior—Do organization members characteristically engage directly with others in conflict, or do they attempt to disengage from others?
  • Normative attitudes—Do members perceive others as opponents and competitors (adversarial), or do they see others as teammates (non-adversarial)?

Conflict Dynamics Profile: CDP-Individual and CDP-360

The Conflict Dynamics Profile (CDP), an assessment instrument measuring conflict behaviors, is an excellent resource to increase self-awareness and improve conflict management skills. The CDP is unlike any other assessment tool in that it focuses specifically on conflict behaviors, rather than styles. It helps individuals and teams understand how they respond to conflict, what triggers can escalate conflict, and how to manage conflict more effectively.

Two versions of the instrument—the CDP-Individual (CDP-I) and CDP-360— emphasize an action-oriented approach which leads to real improvement. A thorough Development Guide provides information and tips for coping with conflict and building strong interpersonal relationships.

CDP-Individual Benefits

  • Quick and easy administration
  • Behavioral feedback which is easy to understand
  • Information on emotional aspects of conflict
  • Abbreviated Development Guide
  • Group reports for intact teams

CDP-360 Benefits

  • In-depth view of conflict behaviors
  • Detailed analysis of the 15 scales
  • Perceptions of colleagues
  • Comprehensive Development Guide
  • Concrete suggestions for improving behavior patterns
  • Group reports for intact teams

Using the CDP

Since the topic of conflict is so universal, there are numerous ways to use the CDP. From leadership development training with individuals and teams to coaching settings with high-potential managers, the CDP can identify both strengths as well as problem areas.

Orientation Programs

The CDP is an excellent tool to explore how conflict is being managed in an organization. The language of the instrument provides an excellent starting point for how to describe and measure a desired approach to workplace conflict. By learning these new components as part of an orientation session, new employees can adjust their personal behavior to match up with the cultural norms of the organization.

Team Conflict

The CDP is particularly helpful in team settings. In addition to each individual report, a group report can be generated that outlines team behaviors and responses. This report often opens up the door for effective conversations about acceptable responses to conflict and hot button triggers. Members of the team learn how certain behaviors might inadvertently trigger irritation in their colleagues as well as how to avoid pushing these hot buttons.


When a client is sensitive to feedback from others or reluctant to use a multi-rater instrument, the CDP can still be used to focus on conflict patterns. The CDP helps the client consider his or her responses to conflict and provides comparisons to a large norm group. It can be a helpful first step in diagnosing areas of strength and developmental opportunities.

Constructive Behavioral Scales:

  • Perspective Taking – Putting yourself in the other person’s position and trying to understand that person’s point of view.
  • Creating Solutions – Brainstorming with the other person, asking questions, and trying to create solutions to the problem.
  • Expressing Emotions – Talking honestly with the other person and expressing your thoughts and feelings.
  • Reaching Out – Reaching out to the other person, making the first move, and trying to make amends.
  • Reflective Thinking – Analyzing the situation, weighing the pros and cons, and thinking about the best response.
  • Delay Responding – Waiting things out, letting matters settle down, or taking a “time out” when emotions are running high.
  • Adapting – Staying flexible, and trying to make the best of the situation.

Destructive Behavioral Scales:

  • Winning at All Costs – Arguing vigorously for your own position and trying to win at all costs.
  • Displaying Anger – Expressing anger, raising your voice, and using harsh, angry words.
  • Demeaning Others – Laughing at the other person, ridiculing the other’s ideas, and using sarcasm.
  • Retaliating – Obstructing the other person, retaliating against the other, and trying to get revenge.
  • Avoiding – Avoiding or ignoring the other person, and acting distant and aloof.
  • Yielding – Giving in to the other person in order to avoid further conflict.
  • Hiding Emotions – Concealing your true emotions even though feeling upset.
  • Self-Criticizing – Replaying the incident over in your mind, and criticizing yourself for not handling it better.

Hot Button Scales:

  • Unreliable – Those who are unreliable, miss deadlines and cannot be counted on.
  • Overly-Analytical – Those who are perfectionists, over-analyze things and focus too much on minor issues.
  • Unappreciative – Those who fail to give credit to others or seldom praise good performance.
  • Aloof – Those who isolate themselves, do not seek input from others or are hard to approach.
  • Micro-Managing – Those who constantly monitor and check up on the work of others.
  • Self-Centered – Those who are self-centered or believe they are always correct.
  • Abrasive – Those who are arrogant, sarcastic and abrasive.
  • Untrustworthy – Those who exploit others, take undeserved credit or cannot be trusted.
  • Hostile – Those who lose their tempers, become angry, or yell at others.

Feedback Reports

The CDP-I report contains graphs measuring constructive behaviors, destructive behaviors, and hot buttons. It is accompanied by a 40-page Development Guide which gives suggestions for improving behaviors and cooling hot buttons.

The CDP-360 report is much more comprehensive. In addition to containing graphs measuring constructive behaviors, destructive behaviors, and hot buttons, it also has narrative comments from other raters, measures of the organizational importance of various conflict behaviors, and indications of how the individual is viewed during different stages of conflict. Accompanying the CDP-360 report is a 115-page Development Guide with suggestions for development, recommended resources, and guidelines for successful action planning.

Sample Reports