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An Infopeople Online Learning Course

February 20th, 2024 12:00 PM
March 18th, 2024 4:30 PM
Fee per learner $200.00
Note for CA residents: California Libraries Learn (CALL) is sponsoring no-cost seats for California library staff in this Infopeople course. Please use this form to register for one of these no-cost seats. In order to gain the most impact from learning events sponsored by the CALL grant we ask that all participants engage fully (attend, participate, discuss and share). If you are unable or not willing to agree to this, please be kind and leave a seat or place for someone else.


Courtney BreeseInstructor: Courtney Breese

Addressing tensions and conflicts in the workplace can be difficult. How do you work through a high-conflict situation where you yourself feel tense or angry? How do you de-escalate an angry patron who is causing a scene? How can you best help others in conflict?

In this course, participants will learn and practice techniques for de-escalating tense exchanges and resolving conflicts with customers, volunteers, board members, and others. They will gain skills for acknowledging someone’s feelings or frustrations with empathy and responding calmly and clearly. In addition, participants will learn preparation and facilitation techniques to ensure that difficult conversations are handled with care, and tensions are addressed and managed respectfully.

Course Description: Throughout this 4-week course the instructor will provide you with engaging resources to deepen your understanding of conflict management, as well as application activities which will directly apply these skills to real-world situations. You will be given opportunities to share your own experiences and work through likely scenarios with your fellow learners.

Additionally, this four-week course will include two interactive online sessions:

  • Wednesday, 2/21/24 @ 11AM-12PM PT
  • Wednesday, 3/6/24 @ 10-11:15AM PT

Please make every effort to ensure that you can attend these two meetings before enrolling in the course. If this is not possible, archived recordings will be made available.

By the end of this course, participants will:

  • Identify the positive and negative types of conflict and the causes of conflict.
  • Understand their personal conflict style and response to conflict.
  • Identify opportunities for de-escalation of tension and conflict resolution.
  • Improve communication and understanding between conflicting parties.
  • Address tensions and help participants work through them together.
  • Resolve conflicts or know when to seek additional help.
  • Identify conversations that may pose a challenge.
  • Prepare for and conduct respectful conversations about difficult topics.

Course Outline:

When you log in to the Infopeople online learning site, you will see weekly modules with these topics:

  • Week 1:  Conflict 101
    • The nature of conflict
    • Positive vs negative conflict
    • Our personal conflict styles
  • Week 2:  Techniques for De-escalating conflict
    • Active listening
    • Questions to ask
    • Other techniques
  • Week 3:  Resolving Conflict
    • Intervening in conflict
    • Recognize and address tensions and interests
    • Identifying when help is needed
  • Week 4:  Preparation for Difficult Conversations
    • Identify tough conversations
    • Preparation for tough conversations

Time Required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2 ½ hours per week, for a total of ten course hours. Each week's module contains various options for assignments, discussions, or online meetings. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.

Who Should Take This Course: Library staff at any level. We will cover the ways we can all deal with conflict in any space in our lives, but with a particular focus on conflicts that emerge between staff, or with external customers or patrons.

Do you work in a rural or tribal library? If so, you may be eligible for a course fee waiver for this course. This Infopeople course has up to five no-cost seats allocated for rural or tribal libraries. Fill out a fee waiver request, and if a no-cost seat is available you will be notified via email.

Keywords: conflict, de-escalation, tension