These case studies represent a sample of our work in equipping individuals and teams with conflict management and resolution skills.
For more information on our courses and programmes contact the training team on 020 7526 6000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Case Study – Allen and Overy and Hogan Lovells
As part of personal development initiatives to enhance client relationships, associates and partners undertook conflict styles training in their London offices.
CEDR trainers facilitated workshops to raise awareness of personal conflict styles, and how and when to adapt them when working with clients and other negotiation teams.
Working with the client, CEDR undertook a training and learning needs analysis and designed the day around each organisation’s needs and delivered the training.
With a 100% of participants rating the course as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’, and quotes that included “life tools for the workplace”, the course was enjoyed by all, and was beneficial to the lawyers.
Case Study – Banking
The cost of conflict for a typical workplace dispute for this bank was estimated at being €600,000 in legal fees, an exit package being the equivalent of 3 years of salary, and 1000 hours of management time.
In coordination with the Bank’s Learning and Development Team, CEDR consultants designed a multi-staged training programme with the objective of enabling employees and managers to hold difficult conversations in order to prevent, manage and resolve conflict when it occurred. A mixture of workshops have been being held over a course of eight years with approximately 100 banking professionals undertaking this course per year.
A key part of the project was the Training Needs and Learning Analysis that was conducted before the implementation of the conflict management workshops. As part of this exercise each course participant completed the Thomas Kilmann Instrument exercise, and a comparative analysis of these reports was conducted and presented to the Bank, giving them a greater understanding of how individuals within the organisation manage conflict.
“The workshop was very useful. It encourages the staff to deal with challenging issues in an open and transparent manner. Constructive approach is encouraged”
“Good structure and plenty of opportunity for practical experience”
“The experience was positive and helpful. I take away important information that will be helpful in my future profession”
“Very useful as a toolkit to handle difficult situations” – Manager
“A full day that went very fast” – Manager
“The pace and style of the workshop was excellent and extremely useful” – Manager
Case Study – International Intergovernmental organisation
In the context of coping with the challenges of conflicting priorities and interests of different governments, complex processes and lines of decision-making, this organisation had identified the need to improve employee skills in dealing with internal and external conflict situations.
Between 2007 and 2012, CEDR provided ongoing assistance to minimise the impact of negative conflict arising from a range of structural factors. There were two main elements of the training: The training of a team of in-house mediators and working staff from across the organisation in providing practical conflict management skills. Challenges include managing up the line, having difficult conversations with peers and coping with inter-cultural differences.
“The content was excellent.”
“Interactive exercises made the course fun & rewarding.”
“The course is well designed and follows a clear line of logic.”
“Very friendly, confident and wonderful faculty.”
Case Study – Inter Governmental Peacebuilding Organisation
A significant study was conducted by the organisation that concluded that there was “…a stress level of 80% and burn out rate of 65% for staff involved in conflict…caus [ing] [an] estimated efficiency loss of $30.6 million.”
After designing the training based on study results and input from senior management at the UNHCR, CEDR delivered conflict management, mediation skills for managers, training for trainers and mediation skills training in 7 countries with over 605 staff over 18 months.
Collaboration between the project team from UNHCR and CEDR to design and roll-out training to staff, ranging from senior managers to administration staff across duty stations throughout the world.
“Working with CEDR has been an excellent experience. Its approach to conflict management is useful in all levels of our hierarchy” - Senior Manager
100% rated the training as ‘Very good’ or ‘Excellent’.
Case study – British Airways
In the context of the building of Heathrow Terminal 5, British Airways were aware of the importance of managing difficult conversations and situations both with their employees and their passengers.
Having recognised their needs, CEDR worked with their Diversity Manager to design a 2 day course. The course was delivered by 2 CEDR consultants and included participants from their People, Legal, and Diversity teams.
100% of participants rated the course content and exercises used as either Good or Excellent
100% of participants rated the course meeting their individual expectations as either Good or Excellent
“Role playing gave us an insight into how difficult the mediator role is, however learning from the mistakes will prove to be valuable in my future work”
“I now have a total different outlook on dispute resolution”
Case Study – HM Customs and Revenue in conjunction with PriceWaterhouse Coopers LLP
As part of their Compliance Skills Development Programme, HM Revenue and Customs wanted to maximise the opportunity for their 2,400 employees over 17 locations to resolve disputes early in the case management process, for both organisational efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) approached CEDR to deliver trainer-led plenary and small-group sessions to increase the participants’ confidence in having difficult conversations regarding disputes. Overall results were very positive and played a large part of the organizational development programme of HMRC.
After designing the initiative in collaboration with PwC, CEDR consultants held a “train-the-trainers” day to 30 small-group facilitators. CEDR then worked with PwC to organise training days throughout the country while ensuring that feedback and review processes occurred with all facilitators at the completion of every training day.
Case Study – Fostering and Adoption Organisation
Due to a range of factors, a negative culture had developed and team members were in conflict between themselves and with their manager. CEDR were engaged with a simple objective: to enable the employees to operate as a team rather than a group of individuals in conflict.
One-to-one conversations with each team member helped to understand what they felt the issues to be addressed were. This information was then used to design a process to create a more effective team.
Interventions included conflict coaching, facilitated conversations with team members and bespoke conflict management workshops.
“I’m more open to having a difficult conversation.”
“Final day felt most useful and I hope as a team we can use it.”
Case Study – UN Agency
The UN Agency were keen to maximise the positive and creative potential of constructive conflict and the ability of staff to manage conflict proactively while minimising the impact of destructive conflict.
Through one-on-one interviews and staff surveys, CEDR consultants conducted a training and needs analysis in English and French. The results were analysed and, together with their nominated manager, CEDR designed an intervention for non-manager and managers. To support the training, a handbook was produced and role plays written. English and French-speaking staff delivered the training in their headquarters in Geneva.
99% of participants rated the course content and exercises used as Very Good or Excellent
100% of participants rated the training methods used as either Very Good or Excellent
“This kind of training should be given to everybody, as it can make your life much more enjoyable – Thank you!”
“Great interactive course, you will learn so much about others but yourself primarily”
Case Study - Global Media Organisation
An internal assessment recommended greater use of mediation to reconcile workplace differences and to foster a healthier organisational culture.
CEDR were invited to assist the organisation in developing their in-company mediation service through improving skills and supervising existing workplace mediators within the organisation. Through a range of continuing development workshops and supervision, CEDR worked with all internal workplace mediators with a range of backgrounds from across the business including HR, trade unions and coaches, to develop their skills to ensure that a mediation culture was instilled within the organisation. This is an ongoing project.
Working with the Coaching Network Manager to replicate some of the features of their internal coaching service, CEDR supplied a project manager to oversee the assignment supported by a training course manager, as well as specialist consultants with experience in mediation supervision, training and coaching.
100% rated the trainers knowledge as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’
Case Study - County Council
As County Council staff were increasingly involved in joint meetings with families, schools and professionals, it was felt that employees would benefit from being trained in mediation skills.
Over 6 days CEDR training consultants delivered a workplace mediation skills training course. By alternating between demonstration and practice, the first two days focused on the skills and processes of mediation and practiced through interactive exercises and role play case studies. The third day was a practice day of shared learning and dedicated to a single detailed case study. The latter three days were designed for coaching and assessment for Accreditation against CEDR’s competency frameworks.
100% of participants rated the effectiveness of this training as Excellent
100% of participants rated the faculty’s approachability and friendliness as either Very Good or Excellent
95% of participants rated this course as either Very Good or Excellent in regards to meeting individual objectives
100% of participants rated this course as either Very good or Excellent in regards to meeting it’s stated objectives
“A high number of staff have continued to reflect on the skills and used these in a range of meetings with families, schools and internal professionals. I have seen the benefits of this in a number of cases where parents have commented that they felt confident in the skills of the relevant staff member and have continued to work with us to resolve any remaining issues in an amicable way” – HR Business Partner
Case Study – Girls Day School Trust
The Trust had identified that their middle and upper leadership teams required conflict management and negotiation support and development.
CEDR consultants worked with Girls Day School Trust on three occasions delivering negotiation and conflict management training to senior administrators and business managers. Styled around a negotiation framework, the course included sessions on trust and emotion, value leverage and creativity, supported by substantial role play, exercises and coaching.
“The senior managers that I have spoken with have said that they have felt more effective, and are more comfortable in dealing with emotionally charges incidents. They have also reported that they are understanding and finding new ways of dealing with tension. The overall outlook has changed for several managers in being more outcome focussed while understanding the importance of identifying what people want and to be aware for underlying issues…I would recommend CEDR to other businesses that want to formalise negotiation training, improve results and want to promote a healthy culture!” – People Director
Case Study – Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
Keen to adopt best practice for their organisation and their clients, ICSA approached CEDR after listening to conference presentation on conflict management skills for the workplace.
CEDR delivered two days of training for ICSA that focused on workplace conflict. The first day concentrated on different types of workplace conflict, an introduction to the range of style of handling conflict and enabling participants to identify their own preferred style. The afternoon looked at on how to identify and apply a framework for having difficult conversations, managing emotions, asking effective questions and active listening.
The second day, introduced the delegates to the concept of mediation and its effectiveness in relation to workplace conflict. The workshop highlighted effective mediation skills, guided delegates through a mock mediation and concluded on a discussion about how to introduce a mediation culture.
Following a successful training course, CEDR was commissioned by ICSA to author a best practice guide entitled “Effective Conflict Management”.
“Really useful course full of helpful tips for dealing with conflict”
“CEDR facilitators are professionals to the core, both in the presentation and expertise know-how; to say the least, these presenters, Ranse and Tracey are non-paralleled in their delivery with ease without leaving out the essentials”
Case Study – House of Commons
There were three main drivers that led to the House of Commons to approach CEDR:
- To encourage take-up of mediation under the internal scheme as it is felt that a lack of awareness of what mediation involves is preventing take-up
- To reduce the number of difficult situations which become problematic either because they are not being addressed early enough or in some cases appropriately
- To assist line managers to deal with the increased responsibilities as a result of the restructuring of HR responsibilities.
One day of training was dedicated to refreshing the mediation skills of a broad range of House of Commons employees, and the second concentrated on developing the conflict management skill-sets. Over two interactive days participants practiced the skills and processes required as a mediator and to hold a difficult conversation. Topics that were covered included question and listening skills, coping with conflict styles, mediation phases and mediator competencies.
“Have acquired new techniques and enlarged my existing range”
“Challenging, animated and interactive.”
100% rated the course as ‘very good’
Case Study – A Global Bank
The Bank identified that the ability of its workforce to engage constructively with differences and conflicts is essential to organisational performance. Senior decision makers could see that left resolved poor management of tensions and conflict would carry significant costs in terms of business performance, talent retention, employee engagement and wellbeing and were proactive in seeking a solution..
CEDR first conducted an initial analysis to identify the causes and patterns of conflict and of the organisational culture of the Bank. As well as providing detailed insights for senior decision makers, the findings from this 'health check' were used to inform the design and delivery of a range of workshops to build the competencies and skills required for effective conflict management. This included a 2 day workshop to equip and empower managers with the capability to manage both their own conflict and that of their teams, and a 1 day module for staff members to build competency of conflict management tools. Due to high levels of interest and a desire for maximising the learning that managers received, the course was extended to 2 days of training.
CEDR has dedicated over 100 days to this project over 3 years.
A recent review of the support delivered to date demonstrated that there is a strong common desire for less destructive workplace conflict and a recognition that the workshops have had a real and positive impact on the ability of staff and managers to contribute towards this in their daily work context. There is a now collective desire to assimilate and sustain the learning so that all employees feel confident in using the skills and approaches when required. The review also highlighted to senior decision makers further insights into potential obstacles with suggestions for how they might be overcome to ensure that positive culture change can be fully achieved. CEDR has so far dedicated over 120 consultant days to this project over 3 years and will continue to work closely with the Bank in the coming years with the aim that all employees will eventually be trained in these essential shared skills.
What clients say:
97% of course participants rated the course as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ [from last 10 courses]
97% of course participants rated trainer knowledge as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ [from last 10 courses]
“This is a great course combining tools for conflict management with practical, relevant exercises and superb tips to look out for to avoid conflicts in the first place" - Head of Planning, Budget and Analytics
“Most valuable course I have been on in years, both on a professional and personal basis” – Senior Administrative Assistant
“Great personal and group experience” – Co-ordination analyst
“CEDR rules! Look out for it at a location near you!” – Banker