The Staff Ombuds Office offers a variety of classes and workshops to help manage and resolve conflict in the workplace. Along with our classes listed through the UC Berkeley Learning Center, we tailor classes and workshops to meet the specific needs of individual departments or groups. See the flyer of our classes for the fiscal year.

All classes are taught by Sara Thacker, Director and Ombudsperson and Lauren Bloom, Associate Ombudsperson.

Below are general descriptions of classes we offer and our class schedule for 2016-2017.  The fall and spring semester class dates and times are posted and available for registration on the Learning Center module:

TO REGISTER for a class, enter the UC Learning Center site directly through the Blu portal,  Classes are free.

All classes are located at 24 University Hall, except specifically tailored workshops which are offered at departments upon request.

Please contact our office directly for more information (642-7823).

Regular Courses


Bullying can take many forms, some of which are obvious and others of which, though more indirect, can be equally destructive to working relationships.  Participants will learn about how to recognize bullying behavior; how to distinguish bullying from incivility; what climates encourage bullying; the impact of workplace bullying; options for how bystanders can effectively respond; and constructive approaches to dealing with workplace bullies.  This workshop includes new components from Employee Assistance (formerly known as CARE Services) regarding self-care to manage stress associated with workplace bullying and Human Resources regarding the role of HR in cases of workplace bullying and the university complaint process.  

Schedule:  February 22, 2017  or May 30, 2017 (9:00 - 3:00)  


Learn practical steps for promoting civility at work, including guidelines for considerate conduct and ideas for creating a more inclusive work environment.  Participants will also learn how to help their unit establish group norms and effective ways to respond to rudeness.

Schedule:  January 24, 2017 or May 2, 2017    (9:00 - 12:00)


To be successful in the rapidly changing workplace, where jobs and people change fast – staff must be able to collaborate with a variety of people within and outside the organization who have the skills, resources, and influence to tackle increasing complex challenges.  Collaboration is a skill and a set of practices that are rarely taught in the workplace.  In this course staff will learn about characteristics of collaboration; when and why to collaborate; collaboration success factors; the role leadership plays in collaboration; and ways to improve communication and strengthen collaborative behaviors within and across teams and departments.

Schedule:   June 27, 2017  (9:00 - 12:30)


Each of us has a preferred approach for resolving conflict.  Research on communication and conflict resolution indicates that preferred or default styles are culturally patterned and often heightened during levels of stress and anxiety.  In this class, participants will gain insight into their own personal conflict approach and different ways of addressing  conflicts.  They will also explore common cultural differences and identify aspects of their own cultural views.  Finally, participants will learn communications skills that will help to constructively handle conflicts that have cultural components.

Schedule:  November 30, 2016 or March 14, 2017  (9:00 - 12:30)


Email is a wonderful tool, but when used improperly it can inflame existing conflicts or even create new ones.  Learn when and how to use email effectively so that you can foster a more civil and productive workplace.

Schedule:  February 15, 2017 or June 1, 2017  (10:00 - 12:00)


This introductory course explores how mediation can be an effective approach to resolving workplace disputes. Participants learn how the mediation process works and how to facilitate communication and increase understanding among individuals in conflict.

Schedule:  not offered this year


In order to achieve high performance on teams, team members must be equipped with the knowledge and skills to effectively handle their inevitable differences, disagreements and disputes.  This class will focus on types of team conflict and how conflict emerges, as well as common barriers to conflict resolution.  Participants will learn how to create the right climate that fosters open and honest discussion; how to use constructive communication techniques and express concerns safely and respectfully while developing a method for creating team norms and agreements.

Schedule:  December 8, 2016 or April, 11 2017  (9:00 - 12:00)

KEYS Workshop - for Supervisors and Managers (only)

Keys to Enhance Your Supervisory Success (KEYS) is UC Berkeley’s supervisory training program. KEYS is designed for new supervisors as well as experienced supervisors who want to hone their supervisory skills. The following workshop is part of the KEYS curriculum:


Effectively managing conflict in the workplace is a key management responsibility. When conflicts are not resolved, individuals, work groups, and even the entire department may become dysfunctional. Managing conflict requires skills that can be taught. Course participants will learn how to select the appropriate strategy for managing workplace conflict, how to analyze and map workplace conflict, how to assess different conflict styles, and the skills of effective listening and speaking needed to manage conflict.

Schedule:  October 25, 2016, or June 13, 2017  (9:00 – 12:30)

Tailored Classes on Conflict Resolution

The Staff Ombuds Office can tailor any of our regular classes to the needs of individual campus departments or units. Please call the office directly (Assistant Ombudsperson Julia Horvath 642-7823) for more information and to set up an appointment to discuss your department or unit's needs.