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The construction project environment is inherently adversarial. It is not uncommon for disputes & disagreements to escalate into serious conflict. This 3 day course lays the foundation for addressing conflict in constructive ways by giving participants..

Course Outline
The construction project environment is inherently adversarial. It is not uncommon for disputes and disagreements to escalate into serious conflict. This conflict can be phenomenally expensive, both financially and personally. Delays in resolution, the financial costs of using the legal system and the added expenses of document management all contribute to increasing the cost of construction. The stress of litigation loaded onto the daily burdens of dealing with disputes can take a heavy toll on staff.
Professionals involved in construction projects, particularly those with some responsibility for contract management and administration must be prepared to work with these conflicts in constructive ways. The first step in is to understand how conflict develops and how it functions within the network of relationships in the project environment. While many disagreements and disputes are resolved through informal negotiation, many negotiations fail for lack of understanding or use of core principles of negotiation. Where face to face negotiation does not work, mediation, which introduces a third party into the process, can provide the needed impetus.
This 3 day course lays the foundation for addressing conflict in constructive ways by giving participants an introduction to the sources of conflict as well as to the patterns that conflicts take. It introduces the basic concepts of interest based negotiation and provides opportunity for participants to practice negotiation skills. Finally, the course introduces the basic concepts of interest based mediation and provides opportunity for participants to practice mediation skills.
The course operates from the assumption that disputes and conflicts in the project environment are rooted in both technical issues and in human interactions and relationships.
Who Should Attend
Resolving Conflict in the Construction Project Environment is for anyone whose responsibilities involve addressing disputes and conflicts as they arise. Project managers, site supervisors, architects, engineers, and those responsible for managing contractual relationships with subcontractors will all benefit from this course.

The course objectives are to:
  • Deepen participants understanding of the dynamics of conflict.
  • Introduce participants to the use of interests in resolving disputes and conflicts.
  • Strengthen participants ability to analyze conflict.
  • Provide participants with expanded communication skills for addressing conflict.
  • Give participants a clear understanding of the principles of interest based negotiation
  • Give participants the core skills for doing interest based negotiation
  • Give participants a clear understanding of the principles of interest based mediation
  • Give participants the core skills for doing interest based mediation
Program Outline (1.8 CEUs / 18 PDHs)   Day 1
Defining Conflict
  • Disagreements
  • Disputes
  • Conflicts
  • Claims

Resolving Conflict

  • Interests, Rights, And Power
  • Methods
Conflict In The Project Environment
Conflict Analysis

  • Communication And Conflict
  • Communication Skills
    • Listening
    • Speaking
    • Questioning

Conflict Styles

  • How We Learn To Address Conflict
  • The Four Styles
  • Using Our Styles
  • Interacting With Others

A Model For Interaction

  • Planning For Meeting
  • Hear
  • Understand
  • Plan For The Future
Day 2

Defining Negotiation

Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes For Negotiators

Distinguishing Types Of Negotiation
  • Positional Bargaining 
  • Power Based Negotiation
  • Rights Based Negotiation
  • Interest Based Negotiation

Basics Of Interest Based Negotiation

  • Separate The People From The Problem
  • Focus On Interests, Not Positions
  • Reframe The Conflict As A Mutual Problem
  • Generate Options For Mutual Gain
  • Build A Solution That Meets Everyone’s Needs
  • Evaluate Using Objective Criteria
  • Know Your BATNA

Discussing The Issues

  • Planning For The Conversation
  • Hear, Understand, Plan
Role Plays   Day 3   Defining Mediation
Models Of Mediation
  • Core Features
  • Secondary Features

Mediator Roles

  • What A Mediator Does
  • What A Mediator Is Not 

Mediator Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes

Assumptions About Mediation

  • Differing Roles Of Mediator And Clients

The Basic Mediation Model (Goals and Methods)

  • Pre-Mediation Meetings
  • Introduction
  • Set The Agenda
  • Explore Issues
  • Problem Solve
  • Get Agreement
Case Studies And Role Plays
By the end of this training event, participants will have:
  • Identified the ways that rights, power and interests affect their work context
  • Identified their own basic attitudes to conflict
  • Considered a range of definitions of conflict and identified how they might be helpful
  • Identified their most common patterns for responding to conflict
  • Used a range of communication skills for addressing conflict
  • Explored various styles for addressing conflict, and identified the strengths and weaknesses of their own style
  • Identified the drivers that impact the conflicts typical to their setting and explored ways to address those drivers
  • Explored the connections between conflict and culture
  • Used a interests/positions model to analyze conflicts in their context and design possible responses
  • Practiced using an interest based communication model for addressing conflict
  • Developed a definition of negotiation
  • Identified the core knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for successful negotiation
  • Distinguished interest based negotiation from positional bargaining
  • Developed a deep understanding of interests, and discussed how to use interests in achieving a negotiated solution
  • Developed their own model for discussing the issues in negotiation.
  • Developed a definition of mediation
  • Distinguished Negotiation, Mediation, and Arbitration
  • Identified the core and secondary features of mediation
  • Discussed a variety of models for conducting mediation
  • Identified the core aspects of the mediator’s role
  • Identified the core skill, knowledge, and attitudes of a mediator
  • Clarified key assumptions about mediation
  • Discussed the relationship between client and mediator direction of the process
  • Clarified the structure of a mediation
  • Identified and practiced the core tasks in mediation
  • Conducted mediation role plays
Instructor Keith Regehr has extensive experience in family law, divorce mediation, employment litigation, professional ethics, organizational conflict resolution and mediation training.  While not currently practicing law, he has worked as a lawyer in private practice, as well as serving as Staff Lawyer for the Law Society of Upper Canada investigating allegations of serious professional misconduct.  Keith has international experience, working in Southern Africa on issues of human rights and political transition, teaching mediation to construction professionals in Canada and the Middle East, and teaching negotiation and mediation in the Horn of Africa.   Keith has taught conflict resolution in the Peace and Conflict Studies Programme at Conrad Grebel University College, an affiliate college of the University of Waterloo, including a course on conflict resolution for engineering students.  This varied background has given Keith the ability to work with a wide variety of people, respecting the diversity of viewpoints in the classroom, as well as affording him the skills to work with a wide variety of conflicts.
Prerequisites & Certificates

Certificates offered

A certificate of completed Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be granted at the end of this course. Each participant will receive a complete set of course notes and handouts that will serve as informative references.

Cancellation Policy
If you wish to withdraw from a course, you must advise us, in writing, including the official receipt. Our policies regarding refund are:

More than fifteen business days in advance: a full refund minus $50.00 administration charge.

Fifteen or less business days in advance: a transfer to another course or a credit, valid for one year, to another GIC course can be considered. Credits are transferable within your organization.

If the course has been running for more than 2 weeks, or after the course has started, an 80% credit towards another GIC course may be considered, if notice is received before the start date of the second session. After this time, no refunds or credits will be issued. If a speaker is not available due to unforeseen circumstances, another speaker of equal ability will be substituted.

GIC reserves the right to cancel or change the date or location of its events. GIC's responsibility will, under no circumstances, exceed the amount of the fee collected. GIC is not responsible for the purchase of non-refundable travel arrangements or accommodations or the cancellation/change fees associated with cancelling them. Please call to confirm that the course is running before confirming travel arrangements and accommodations.

Refund Policy: Allow up to 30 days for refunds to be processed.

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