Contact CAOS Conflict Management on 020 3371 7507

Supporting Peer-to-Peer Resolution of Workplace Conflict: Training for Managers and Team Leaders in the Skills That Help Staff Resolve Their Own Conflicts

Workplace Conflict - Peer to Peer resolution skills for managersWhat are YOU going to do about him? Image courtesy of

Workplace conflict is inevitable. Often it will be resolved without any lingering effects and will even help to create constructive change in the work environment as a result of the learning that can arise from such difficulties.

But at other times, workplace conflict can remain unresolved and can simply 'fester' or escalate to become a difficult personal issue between those involved. 

Managers and Team Leaders are often called upon to intervene in such situations but without the skills to support its resolution they will often try to 'fix' the personal issues that affect the working relationship or take steps to keep those involved apart. 

The role of the manager is to oversee performance and productivity alongside a duty of care towards those they manage but this can easily become confused with becoming involved in the personal difficulties between staff. Where a member of staff has acted inappropriately towards another employee and this is clearly a breach of employee conduct laws and organisational conduct expectations it will be the duty of the manager to take punitive or other action against the staff-member.

However when the issue is one of staff 'falling out' over personal differences and there is no evidence of a breach of conduct on the part of any staff member involved or sometimes, on a low level there is, but it is a '6 of one and half a dozen of the other' situation it is those members of staff who are responsible, individually and together, for ensuring it does not affect their performance or productivity. 

These are the kinds of situations where managers will either become involved in the relationship breakdown and try to 'fix' it when they can't, as it is not their relationship to fix, or instead they can provide support to staff in resolving the situation between themselves

Sometimes this may lead to the involvement of an independent mediator, but often it will be possible for managers to support 'Peer-to-Peer' resolution of the situation. That is to say the staff members can be supported in resolving it by themselves, with the manager's support but without the manager becoming part of, or providing the solution.

What is Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Resolution of Workplace Conflict?

Peer to Peer resolution of workplace conflictPeer-to-Peer Resolution: Image courtesy of

Peer-to-Peer Resolution (P2P) occurs when the ideas for how to resolve a dispute are created by those directly involved, and the actions required to move towards resolution are carried out by those directly involved.

Peer-to-Peer resolution can be challenging for anyone but ultimately it is the responsibility of each team member to try to resolve the personal relationship difficulties that can arise in the face of the inevitable conflicts that occur when working with other people. 

Peer-to-Peer resolution of workplace conflict can be supported when managers are equipped with the same communication skills used in mediation and conflict coaching to support others in resolving disputes by themselves

Both mediation and conflict coaching are processes that do not 'fix' issues for people, but they are a tool that helps them to create their own answers to difficult situations and helps them communicate effectively about their difficulties. 

The CAOS Encouraging, Supporting and Appropriately Expecting Peer-to-Peer Resolution Training Course has been designed as a consequence of demand for such skills within workplaces where full training to be a mediator or conflict coach may be more than is required but the skills that are used within these processes can still be drawn upon to support P2P of workplace conflict. 

The 2-day training course also provides an opportunity to review procedures and policies that may work against P2P happening in workplace conflict so that, where possible, these can be modified to encourage, support and, where appropriate, expect it to happen. 

While this training will not prepare attendees to provide the full mediation process it does introduce and give practice experience to attendees in the communication skills and principles of practice which are used by Mediators to support Peer-to-Peer resolution in a wide range of contexts. 

The Training Course Content is as follows:

How to Encourage, Support and Expect, where appropriate, Peer-to-Peer Resolution of Workplace Conflict

This 2-day workshop covers the following: 

Day 1 

  • Introduction to, and direct practice of the communication skills that encourage and support P2P. 
  • Understanding how these practices avoid providing an inappropriate 'fix' of the conflict but help colleagues and team members to resolve it by, and for themselves.
  • Developing a self-awareness and 'mindfulness' in relation to the practices to ensure any interventions support P2P towards effective resolution of disputes by those directly involved and are not attempts to 'fix' the problem for them.

Day 2  

  • Further application of the skills learned on Day 1 and an opportunity to review the organisation's practices and procedures to decide if they may inhibit P2P.
  • How to establish an expectation of P2P amongst staff where appropriate, and to understand it as an opportunity for personal and organisational learning.

As with all CAOS Conflict Management training the course is highly interactive and experiential giving a lot of opportunities for learning and practising the skills involved in supporting P2P as well as plenty of opportunity for constructive reflection, review and discussion of what is involved. 

For this reason the maximum number of attendees is 8 for any course commissioned. 

On completion of the 2-day course attendees will receive the CAOS Conflict Management Peer-to-Peer Resolution Support Skills Certificate.

If you are an individual wanting to explore the philosophies principles, skills and practices that underpin Peer-to-Peer resolution more substantially, you may be interested in either or both of the following courses:

5-day Conflict Coaching Skills training course

6-day Mediation Skills training course 

How do I arrange training in Supporting Peer to Peer Resolution of Workplace Conflict

If you'd like this training for your managers, team-leaders and other staff in skills that can support resolution of workplace conflict conflict without 'taking over' the personal relationship difficulties involved, please call: 

020 3371 7507 

Alternatively you can contact us by email. 

The cost for this 2-day course is £2400 which includes the fee for the training plus any travel and accommodation costs. Venue and any other costs to be covered by commissioning organisation.

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Join our Online course: 

An Introduction to the Philosophies, Principles and Practice of the CAOS Model of Conflict Coaching - Click this link to find out more

Online Conflict Coaching Skills Introductory Training Course.

This is what people say about CAOS training...

"In my 20 years experience as an academic this is the best ‘in-service’ training I have experienced. The quality of the training team’s preparation and the skill with which they conducted the course was impressive."

Dr Meretta Elliott -Senior Lecturer-School of Arts-Brunel University - speaking about a 6-day Mediator training course run by Alan Sharland and colleagues.

"This was not an easy course; the challenges involved in working outside one’s usual mode of operation were considerable, but the upbeat attitude of the trainers and the calm and supportive atmosphere they created meant that I was free to work outside my comfort zone in developing an approach to assisting others deal with their own situations."

Dr Mary Richards - Subject Leader for Drama - Brunel University - also speaking about the Mediator training course.

"This was a very successful workshop, feedback described the day as “fun”, “interesting” and “informative” with a “superb” trainer who had a “very thoughtful approach”. 100% of our attendees said they had enjoyed the course and they would recommend it to colleagues."

Tania Murrell - Business Development Manager, Hillingdon Association of Voluntary Services - speaking about the workshop 'Dealing with Difficult Behaviour' run by Alan Sharland.

Train to be a Mediator with CAOS Conflict Management

"Alan provided excellent training for mediators at Common Ground Mediation which was challenging but also thoroughly enjoyable.

He led us through various interactive exercises to help us reflect on the mediator's role and impartiality. I would highly recommend Alan as a trainer for mediators."

Morag Steven - Director of Common Ground Mediation, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Here's a Handbook to help you practise more effective communication and to review and improve how you are responding to unresolved conflict:

The CAOS Conflict Coaching Clients Handbook

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