About CEDR Skills For Life

At CEDR, we know that it is important that conflict is handled well at every stage of life. This programme deals with training for difficult conversations at work, home and amongst peer groups for those who want to go on to be future leaders.

The Skills for Life programme has been developed out of the CEDR Foundation’s work of delivering in-person difficult conversations training (the New Dialogues Programme) for organisations and individuals since 2017.  Now, with the use of an online version of the training, we are able to offer the programme to a much wider group of people.

The course is initially being offered on a free or low cost basis to charitable and non-profit educational organisations who work with people between 16-25 years old. We are now inviting organisations who work in this area to apply for the programme.

We aim to offer the programme to non-charitable organisations and individuals in the future.

Format and Content of the Skills for Life Programme

The Skills for Life programme is an online course, delivered by the CEDR Foundation, which allows participants to self-learn the key skills of having difficult conversations.

The course has been specifically created for younger people between the ages of 16-25 who would not normally have learnt how to handle conflict or have difficult conversations. 

The programme is divided into an introduction, four main modules and an assessment.

Course Format

Introduction and a Framework for Difficult Conversations

Module 1: Understanding what is going on - Active Listening Skills.

Module 2: How to handle emotions in yourself and other people.

Module 3: Working with different conflict styles.

Module 4: Influencing with Integrity – The art of persuasion.

Screenshot of Skills for Life module

Each module is self-guided with videos from CEDR trainers to watch as well as interactive exercises, follow up reading and practice exercises.

Screenshot of Skills for Life module

A module should take approximately 45 minutes to complete and the entire course should take 5-6 hours.  It is possible to complete the entire course in a single sitting but we would expect most participants to do the course in two to three sittings over a month period and use the time in between to practise the skills.

Screenshot of Skills for Life module

At the end of the programme, there is an assessment opportunity which will allow participants to test their skills and, if they pass, gain a certificate in CEDR Skills for Life.  There are also additional resources in the CEDR hub with cutting edge podcasts on negotiation, conflict management and leadership.

As part of the development of the programme, Skills for Life has been tested by over 50 young people, including a cohort of 28 Ukrainian students in connection with the Ukrainian Mediation Centre. 

All pilot participants rated the programme excellent or very good and found that they had learnt new skills.

Participant feedback from the pilot group included:

"The Skills for Life course material and exercises give an understanding of where the skills are needed in practice and why knowing it will really help".

I will now look at conflict situations in a completely different way.  I will try to apply these acquired skills to life”. -Anastasiya S

I will now be able to take a completely different approach to the structure of the conversation; be able to think it through and respond to the reaction of the other person better”. -Antonina Y

I loved that there were practical examples that were used to explain certain concepts.  For example, how a sales person could influence with integrity blew my mind!”. -Jessica N

"The videos gave clear explanations of the key ideas to use in conflict resolution". -Morton T

There was a “range of useful tools included on the course – tutorial videos, activities and summary sheets”. I will now be more proactive in situations of conflict.  For example, the course has taught me that the use of the word “but” can be read as defensive and can therefore heighten tensions within a conflict, whereas the word “and” is a much more constructive word to use.  Even simple tools such as single words can create a large difference of outcome.  -Elise J

After this course, I will use the learned skills of active listening whilst handling a difficult conversation, rather than just being driven by emotions.” -Mykhailo S

The Skills for Life programme is now open for charitable and educational groups to apply. 

Please note the Skills for Life programme is not currently open for individual applicants.

In order to apply, we are looking for charity partners working in the UK or internationally, who have:

  • A group of at least 20 participants aged 16-25 to participate in the programme. The programme is intended for cohort sizes between 20-50 participants.
  • Participants must all have a working knowledge of English.
  • Participants must all be connected with a charitable or non-fee paying educational organisation and as the course is self-guided, participants should be self-motivated to learn difficult conversation skills. No previous experience is necessary.
  • Participants must have access to their own computer to be able to undertake the Skills for Life programme remotely. The course takes approximately 5-6 hours of remote study to complete and needs to be completed within a month period.

If you have a relevant charitable or educational organisation please contact the CEDR Foundation team here and we would be delighted to have a conversation with you.

Due to website hosting limits, CEDR is able to offer a certain number of free spaces for charitable and educational organisations each year. Therefore CEDR retains the discretion as to the organisations that are able to take the Skills for Life programme as a free programme.

The Skills for Life programme can also be offered as a paid per participant programme for non-charitable organisations and companies. If you are interested in this, please contact us to discuss commercial rates.

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