Managing conflict effectively



Conflict is a word that conjures up many emotions. It is something that most people would prefer to avoid, if possible. Work can be an emotive place. Positive relationships can make your life at work exciting, motivating and challenging, whilst relationships that do not hold value to you could make your life very difficult and stressful, especially if there is conflict between you and your manager. This course is essential for people who want to understand where conflict can be used to positive effect and how to manage conflict in your working relationships and see it as something positive that can stimulate the environment.

Research has shown that relationships at work are an extremely high motivational factor, and for a lot of people it has a higher importance that salary! Therefore, it is essential that we invest in relationships and search out new ways to make them better in order to have a more positive influence on our surroundings. By understanding why other people are in conflict we can manage the conversation a lot better, with outcomes managed more effectively so the ‘conflict’ will add value to the organisation.

This participative event will cover a wide variety of exercises and personal stories, and leave course participants with a clear strategy to identify when they are in conflict with someone and how they will structure their approach to get to a satisfactory outcome.

Learning objectives

This is a workshop that targets anyone where conflict needs to be managed and cannot seem to resolve it, whether internally or externally. At the end of the day, participants will:
  • Know their key relationships and the strength of those relationships
  • Complete the Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI) to identify where you deploy your strengths
  • Understand what is important to you and your key stakeholders
  • Know how motivational value systems can influence behaviour
  • Tailor your communication style to match that of your opposite party
  • Know conflict strategies to resolve conflict in others
  • Learn to be more assertive when challenging
  • Achieve key personal, departmental and organisational objectives


This programme enables individuals to understand motivational and conflict theory. Participants can come from all levels in the organisation, the common denominator being that they should all want to manage conflict more effectively. Whether the participants manage a team or not they will benefit from this event.


This is a one-day workshop that uses the SDI as its core learning tool. There is an emphasis not just on learning but on the application of the learning. It will be highly participative, with each person sharing their experiences and their challenges and both the facilitator and colleagues in the room providing direction and solutions.

The expert trainer

Cyrus Cooper (Managing Director of Maximum Performance) is an exceptional trainer, facilitator and coach. He specialises in helping managers to focus on their role and responsibilities with the aim of getting great results with the people they manage. He has helped organisations in both the public and private sectors to increase their performance through a range of interventions covering leadership challenges, motivational management and corporate and executive 1:1 coaching. Formerly an internal learning and development consultant to the Ministry of Justice, his achievements there ranged from a major business process re-engineering (BPR) project to designing performance management systems and competency frameworks for over 12,000 staff and creating a range of management programmes for middle / senior civil servants that are still being run to this day.

Cyrus is passionate about coaching as well as training, and has recently developed an organisational-wide coaching programme for the Big Lottery Fund. He currently works with Thomson Reuters graduates on a global graduate scheme, delivering a week of self-discovery, supported by the FACET5 profiling tool. His other current / recent clients include the BBC, 3M, Accenture, Inter Hannover, Legoland, Merlin Entertainments, Mouchel, Phytopharm, Office of the Public Guardian, The Gap Partnership, Central Bedfordshire Council, Finsbury Foods, Lancashire Group, RED Consulting, Gala Coral, De Lage Landen, the Methodist Church, Shaw Trust and the Housing Solutions Group, to name but a few. Whether delivering a one-off workshop or designing an innovative management development programme, Cyrus delivers with understanding, enthusiasm and passion, and truly believes that learning is about creation, not consumption.

Cyrus’s academic and professional qualifications include a Masters Degree in Management Practice, MBTI accredited, SDI accredited, Facet5 accredited, DiSC accredited, Diploma in Executive and Corporate Coaching, Diploma in Business Coaching, Diploma in Business Excellence (EFQM), NVQ Assessor, etc. Cyrus is enthusiastic and practical in his approach, with tools and methodologies explained clearly. His strong facilitation skills and focus on his audience create a powerful learning experience and the response from individual participants is invariably appreciative, as the following comments show:

‘Cyrus was fab – as usual.’ ‘Building a Customer Mentality’ course participant, Inter-Hannover

‘This session was exceptionally brilliant. The trainer drew me out of my shell.’ Graduate Development Workshop participant, Mouchel

‘Maximum Performance were engaged by Thomson Reuters to redesign our technology graduate development centre (the integral piece of the graduates’ two year training programme). Throughout the programme redesign, I found Maximum Performance to be extremely responsive, creative in their approach and also dedicated to building a bespoke solution for Thomson Reuters. The feedback from stakeholders and delegates has been very positive on the content delivered , the facilitator’s training style and Maximum Performance’s ability to hit the ground running, intimately understanding our needs.’ Khalil Ayub, Technology Graduate Scheme Manager, Thomson Reuters

‘We used Maximum Performance to design and deliver leadership skills for our people managers at LEGOLAND Windsor. We were pleased with the structured approach which provided a parallel process to our Team Leader training activities. Maximum Performance also helped incorporate some new training techniques we wanted to try such as Forum Theatre. Overall this part of the session was fun and energetic. It provided a powerful and memorable alternative to role play with excellent feedback from our managers.’ Head of Learning & Development, Legoland

‘I have had the pleasure of working with Maximum Performance (and Cyrus Cooper in particular) to deliver a coaching programme across the Big Lottery Fund. We co-constructed and piloted the programme to skill managers in the basics of coaching and create a programme of development for Senior Leaders to also build their coaching skills. What Cyrus delivered was a programme that impacted on us with a huge amount of insight, interest and invigoration around coaching as a key skill in our leaders, managers and talent programme participants. We are about to launch our own internal coaching network that will continue and spread the great work Cyrus did for us.’ Perry Timms, Head of Talent & Organisational Development, BIG Lottery Fund

Course outline

  1. Where are you now?
    • How effective are your current working relationships?
    • Can I work effectively without the input from others?
    • Who do you need to be a success?
  2. The Strengths Deployment Inventory (SDI)
    • Completion of the SDI questionnaire
    • An understanding of the theory
    • A ‘trip around the triangle’
    • Predicting relationship interaction
    • Your scores and what they mean in your relationships
  3. Conflict theory
    • What is conflict?
    • The 3 flags of conflict
    • What are your conflict triggers?
    • Your conflict scores plotted
    • The conflict sequence
  4. Conflict resolution strategies
    • Early warning signs
    • Most productive behaviours
    • Least productive behaviours
    • Preventable/unwarranted conflict
    • Review of the dynamic triangle
    • Review of the day, personal learning and action planning

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