Managing Conflict for Supervisor Success

ALA's Learning Round Table /

Conflict inevitably arises in any workplace–it's just what happens when people work together, mingle their personalities, and encounter stresses. Managing Conflict for Supervisor Success will help supervisors build skills to improve their relationships with their coworkers, managers, staff and patrons, resulting in more effective communication and collaboration.

Guidance for managing conflict in the workplace is presented in two sections:

Key learning objectives:

  1. Supervisors will manage healthy relationships between themselves and their peers by fostering a positive and mutually supportive workplace environment.
  2. Supervisors will foster healthy relationships among staff by effectively navigating conflict and resolving differences, skillfully engaging in difficult conversations and finding mutually successful outcomes.

The Learner Guide for each section provides resources, activities and reflections on the topics. The learning is self-paced, and you are encouraged to go at your own speed, allowing time to apply the learning through various activities, then returning to the guide to reflect on what you learned through application. For those who want to dive deeper into the content, there are options for how far you choose to go with the activities, as well as additional resources. The extent to which you apply the learning and activities will determine the overall amount of time you spend in the course.

The Training for Library Supervisors curriculum was developed by the Conflict Management sub-group of the Supervisor Success Committee for ALA’s Learning Round Table in collaboration with See also, Encouraging Motivation in the Workplace and Performance Management for Supervisors.

See also the webinar, Training New Supervisors for Success: Don't Start from Scratch, on how the Indianapolis Public Library Training and HR staff used this ready-made self-paced learning, added some library-specific context and group discussions, and created a successful new learning process for their managers.

Conflict Management Group

Team leads

  • Betha Gutsche, WebJunction Programs Manager, OCLC
  • Jennifer Keach, Coordinator of Organizational Learning & Development, James Madison University Libraries

Contributors and collaborators

  • Brenda Blough, Human Resources Manager, Aurora Public Library
  • Patrick Hoecherl, Staff Development Trainer, Salt Lake City Public Library
  • Diane Huckabay, KCGS Library, Ellensburg
Image courtesy Frank M. Rafik on Flickr | cc by-nc-sa 2.0