While interpersonal conflict may be inevitable in the workplace, solutions exist. It is in the best interest of all stakeholders, management, leadership and employees alike, that conflict is resolved in a timely and effective way. Developing conflict resolution skills in front-line managers is a key element of any strategic plan for better management of the workforce.
Given that such an effort represents a significant commitment of organizational resources, the effectiveness of management development programs must be evaluated to ensure an appropriate return on the investment. Many organizational leaders find that the standard training formats are ineffective because they are too costly and too time-consuming. Even more critically, managers cite that the training which is available isn’t focused enough to their needs and there is a lack of connection between what takes place during training and the job.
Through a consideration of best practices in instructional pedagogy, design, and delivery, a more effective method of training emerges. This paper argues that a three-tiered approach to training - an elearning program, followed by a classroom presentation and, lastly, a brief period of on the job individualized coaching - represents one of the most effective and efficient programs for developing conflict management skills in the workplace.