A core competency for anyone leading a team.


Conflict between staff members impacts performance. It is imperative to examine the organisation-specific cultural conflict approach. The ability of employees to resolve differences on their own is the cheapest and most effective way to stop disputes from eroding productivity. That ability to ‘have a ‘Brave Discussion’’ can be learned, and is effective 80% of the time. The outcomes of this approach to conflict change and dispute resolution are superior because solutions are crafted by the disputants themselves, rather than by someone else or through rights based claims. When people solve their own problems, their interests are satisfied, generating motivation and sustainability.

For the 20% of clashes that are not getting sorted out by the parties, managers or supervisors need to step in. The aim of dispute management within this model is not to immediately “call the shots” or impose solutions, but to first help the parties have that ‘Brave Discussion’ – exhausting all opportunities for interest based resolution.

That is what Managerial Mediation is. It is a specific workplace skill, different from classic mediation, and is easy to learn. It is a toolbox that complements experience developed over decades by Dan Dana, the founder of MTI (the global leader in workplace conflict resolution) which thousands of managers around the world have learned, in keeping with best practise in-house workplace mediation.

Your performance is directly linked to the way you manage conflict within your team

As MTI’s Southern African representative and accredited trainer, I have proudly chosen this as the finest training for managers and supervisors sensitive to the destructive nature of mismanaged conflict and the potential crisis conflict can provoke. It is a powerful adjunct to my foundation course ‘Managing Conflict for Increased Productivity’, and is undoubtedly a core competency for all team leaders.

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Dan Dana, Phd. Psychology

In the life cycle of every conflict, there is a point when it’s large enough to be recognized, but small enough to be resolved.

As Founding President of the Mediation Training Institute International, Dan Dana seeks to expand global awareness and use of non-adversarial methods for managing human differences in the workplace and beyond.

He has been an invited lecturer at institutions on six continents, and is the author of Managing Differences, the sourcebook of MTI’s seminars published worldwide in six languages, and Conflict Resolution: Mediation Tools for Everyday Work Life, a featured publication of McGraw-Hill’s Briefcase Books series.

Dan served for several years as a professor of organizational behaviour at the University of Hartford (Connecticut) Graduate School of Business, and has held faculty appointments at Syracuse University’s Summer Institute on Conflict Resolution (Maxwell School) and at several other institutions.
Managerial Mediation is designed for any employee who is responsible for the cooperative work of others, and is excellent as preparation for future leaders.

The technique is designed to include only one outcome, an efficient and targeted three-way meeting rather than a series of ongoing sessions. When used as intended, the parties reach agreement in one session in 90% of cases.


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Managerial Mediation



  1. To learn when to use Managerial Mediation
  2. To learn how to use Managerial Mediation
  3. To learn when not to use Managerial Mediation


  1. What, When, and Why
  • What is Managerial Mediation
  • When to use Managerial Mediation
  1. How to Perform Managerial Mediation
  • Deciding to mediate
  • Preliminary meetings
  • Planning the context
  • Three-way meetings
  • Follow-up
  1. The Key
  2. Preventive Mediation | Stop conflict before it starts

Learning objectives

  1. Determine when problems can best be solved by Managerial Mediation.
  2. Prepare the best context for a mediation meeting.
  3. Perform the three primary tasks of Managerial Mediation.
  4. Negotiate agreements to prevent recurrence.

Topic outline

  1. Types of conflict: boss-employee, employee-boss, and employee-employee.
  2. When managerial mediation works and when it won’t.
  3. Preliminary meetings with employees; the surprising purpose of getting the facts.
  4. Managing the context; mostly common sense, but vitally important and often overlooked.
  5. The three tasks of the manager-as-mediator made simple and practical.
  6. Contracting for agreement: making deals that stick.
  7. Video demonstration: how to mediate as a manager or team leader.
  8. Practice by learners: constructive, guided feedback to build practical skills.

Comments from people that have taken this course.

Giving phrases and tips that mediators can use was most helpful along with the explanation.
Tamae Hishizawe, Manager, Employee Communications, Human Resources, Motorola Electronics

The best thing was that I got ideas on how to control turnover at the workplace!
B.S. Bran, General Manager, Jiffy Lube

The time spent on role-play was most effective – the exchange among participants.
Ceclia Ryborg, Sr. Career Planning Officer, United Nations High Commission for Refugees

The instructor was highly engaging – style was very comfortable – obviously has fun!
Ken Kuzy, Project Manager, Xerox Conwest, Inc.

I learned a different strategy to manage conflict, totally a new mind set.
Nancy Gutierrez, US Customs-Supervisory Entry Specialist

Most valuable were the steps to resolve conflict and the role playing.
Lori Kolip, Manager, Fidelity Investments

Simple basic steps. Most valuable was the presentation of a process that is easily understood.
Steve Curtis, Planning Supervisor, Sony Disc Mfg.

Course participants receive:

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The primary sourcebook: Managing Differences: How to Build Better Relationships at Work and Home (third edition) by Daniel Dana.

Workbook: A multi-volume step-by-step individualized guide for using new skills on the job

Secondary sourcebook (optional): Conflict Resolution: Mediation Tools for Everyday Worklife (McGraw-Hill, 2001) by Daniel Dana

Wallet card job aid
Handy guide that summarizes Managerial Mediation for immediate use
MTI Conflict Assessment Instruments: Unrestricted personal access to these on-line tools for organizational assessment:

  • The Dana Measure of Financial Cost of Conflict
  • The Dana Survey of Conflict Management Strategies