The Dark Side of Organisations: Dealing with Conflict, Difficult Behaviour and Resistance to Change


About the Course

This course covers many of the challenges that leaders, managers and providers of services face in the delivery of social housing. Problems can arise both internally and externally when we try to deliver change and innovation to services. How do we meet the challenges of change and the resistance that often arises? Why do internal cultures often arise in housing organisations where communication is such a problem and where conflict can form between individuals and groups? How do we meet the challenging language and behaviour of other colleagues and tenants? What goes wrong in organisations and how can we put it right?

In a challenging, real and highly practical, hands-on session, we will get to the heart of why change fails, how to solve some of the most difficult communication problems and how to skilfully work with difficult behaviour and manage conflict.

According to facilitator, Paul Levy:

I’ve been working with different housing organisations for over twenty years. During many of the workshops and meetings, all kinds of challenging behaviours have been described – in staff, in tenants, and in leaders and managers. How do we meet the conflict that often arises when we are under-resourced, under stress, or simply trying to cope with the complexities of delivering a service so fundamental as providing and maintaining a home?”

Course Approach

This workshop-style course takes a very hands-on and practical look at:

  • what change is all about, where resistance comes from and how to skilfully meet it

  • why and how communication problems arise in organisations and what can be done to overcome them

  • why people label and demonise each other

  • how deeper listening and acknowledgement can improve communication

  • how to surface deep-rooted assumptions and achieve common ground

  • developing emotional intelligence

  • moving away from “delivery” to “responsiveness”

  • different types of conflict and ways of dealing with it

  • how more sensitive approaches to diversity can resolve and prevent conflict

Participants will explore and try out a range of successful approaches to:

  • developing more conscious and responsive organisations

  • ensuring that the root causes of conflict can be identified and met head on

  • reducing the stress of challenging behaviour and conflict

  • leading organisations that are not afraid to name and resolve conflict

  • improving communication and preventing internal and external conflict

  • designing and enacting wise and effective conflict resolution processes and procedures

Course Outcomes

By the end of the workshop participants will have drawn on their own experiences of this particular but vital subject. This is not an easy workshop; it dives into the heart of organisational conflict but the result is greater confidence and skill in dealing with the “shadow side” or organisations.

About the Facilitator

Paul Levy has worked on customer care with over 30 housing associations in recent years, as well as leading workshops all over the world exploring how to ensure customer service is authentic and effective. He is director of CATS3000, a change consultancy based in Brighton, UK.  Paul has a particular interest in why and how conflict arises in organisations based in social housing.



About Paul Levy

Paul is a writer, thinker, facilitator, theatre-maker, and conversifier. He is the author of the book, Digital Inferno.
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