Working with Conflict in Community

6-week Online Course | Starts May 7, 2024

Learn where to anticipate conflict, how to problem solve, and how to establish a care team in the Working with Conflict in Community course.

Course fee: $120-$220 USD

Individual class fee: $20-$50 USD

On this page:

Classes in this course are suitable for:Community Newcomers | Community Seekers | Community Starters | Community Residents

Course description and syllabus

Failure to prepare for conflict is one of the big reasons intentional communities struggle and eventually fail. Most groups don’t explicitly discuss how they want to work with reactivity and the expression of strong feelings. Lacking a common understanding about how to handle these moments, most groups are paralyzed by their occurrence and bad things happen (work gets stopped, feelings get suppressed, fights break out, and relationships are damaged). It’s not pretty..

But there is no reason for your group to break down in the face of conflict. Get prepared and skilled up to handle whatever is coming your way. In Working with Conflict in Community, you will learn the tools and techniques that can support you and your members in moving through conflict.

Distilled from more than three decades of working as a professional facilitator and trainer for cooperative groups, Laird Schaub will cover what you need to know to move through conflict with as much grace as possible. And come out the other side stronger than before.

Live classes are hosted on Zoom. All classes are recorded and available on our learning platform within 24 hours after each class ends and through 30 days after the last class.

Classes and topics in the Working with Conflict in Community syllabus include:

Individual classes starting at US $20

May 7: Conflict: Working with Feelings & Emotions in Community

  • the inevitability of emotions and why it’s better to learn how to work with them than to try to exclude
  • some of the time, emotions lead to non-trivial reactivity–while chaotic, those moment are also a source of information and energy
  • the relationship between distress and distortion
  • the synergy of working with both ideas and energy

May 14: Creating & Working with a Heart Team to Resolve Conflict

  • recommended sequence of escalating steps for working through conflict
  • the essential ingredients for having a group culture that works effectively with conflict
  • the advantages of a Care Team and how to set one up

May 21: Working with Conflict in the Moment as a Group

  • knowing when to work conflict in the plenary, and when to ask that be handled in another setting
  • advantages of working with reactivity in the moment

May 28: Relationship Repair in Community

  • recognizing the primacy of healthy relationships in community
  • distinguishing among determining blame, problem solving, and relationship repair
  • 4-step model for effecting relationship repair

June 4: Sharing Conflict Concepts with Your Community

  • understanding the resistance to working with feelings and conflict in your group
  • what you can do to address the resistance
  • developing a clear strategy to introduce conflict concepts to your group

June 11: Resolving Conflict: Anticipating Necessary Conversations & Feedback

  • identifying the hard conversations associated with conflict
  • how to prepare for the hard conversations
  • the importance of having clean feedback channels among members

All Working with Conflict in Community classes are held on Tuesdays from 8-10am Pacific / 9-11am Mountain / 10am-12pm Central / 11am-1pm Eastern. You can view your local time here.

June 18:Q&A Session

  • Ask any additional questions
  • Get personalized help
  • Networking

The Q&A session is optional and will take place from 8-9am Pacific / 9-10am Mountain / 10-11am Central / 11am-12pm Eastern. You must register for the full course to attend the Q&A session.

Your instructor

Working with Conflict in Community instructor image

Laird Schaub

Laird’s specialty is up-tempo inclusive meetings that engage the full range of human input, teaching groups to work creatively with conflict and diversity—all the while being ruthless about capturing as much product as possible. He lived for four decades at Sandhill Farm, an income-sharing rural community that he helped found.
Laird also helped found the Foundation for Intentional Community, where he served as the main administrator for 28 years. In 1987, he created a self-insurance fund for healthcare among income-sharing communities called PEACH (Preservation of Equity Accessible for Community Health) that he ran for 22 years.
In addition to his expertise in community living, he’s parlayed his passion for good process into a consulting business focused on cooperative group dynamics, styled CANBRIDGE (Consensus And Network Building for Resolving Impasse and Developing Group Effectiveness), since 1987.

Read his blog Laird’s Commentary on Community and Consensus


“Laird is an amazing resource in terms of experience, presentation and facilitation style, and ability to effectively connect with individuals under challenging circumstances. This is a great opportunity for thinking about how to handle conflict in community. Laird offered very practical suggestions for the kind of agreements that need to be in place for a community to tackle this in a way that ensures both accountability and safety for all members. Talking about conflict can sound scary, but having it organized into concrete steps made it seem not only possible, but absolutely worth doing.”

-Leslie Thomsen

“I just like how Laird delivers, upbeat and tells it how it is. His experience communicates well and I come away seeing conflict both as inevitable while also something not to be afraid of. His approach to work with the emotions and to focus on the energetic level feels like something that I can adopt and practise right away.”

-Priska Stabel

“Laird brings a wealth of practical examples, well-considered guidance, passion, and energy when he runs a training. He made sure to give us a range of ways to engage, from written materials to review ahead, to presentation and discussion, and roleplays with debrief. If you want to be both informed about the dangers (and ways to address them) and also inspired by the possibilities, this is a great course.”

-Georgia Handforth

“This course is for any community that finds itself confounded by conflict. Laird presents a different way of defining conflict, demonstrates how to work constructively when conflict arises in a group setting, and provides participants with tools for equipping a community to meet conflict without fear, and move forward restoring broken relationships. Time well spent with a teacher who has an incredible amount of wisdom and experience to share!”

-Susan Clark

Online learning platform

Once you register, you’ll get access to our learning area that includes:

  • class slides and other course materials
  • class video recordings, audio files, and transcripts for learning on the go
  • recommended books with access to course participant discount
  • a dedicated discussion forum to connect with your classmates

Live interactive sessions

Each week you join a 2-hour live class with the course instructor, where you learn in a group setting with:

  • interactive presentations
  • break out sessions
  • group discussions
  • the opportunity for questions and answers, and personalized support

Classes are recorded if you miss one, and you will have 30 days after the last class to view recordings.

Journey with a cohort

You’ll join participants from around the world how, like you, want to learn how to be better communitarians. Benefits include:

  • opportunities to connect with like-minded people
  • opportunities to share ideas and stories
  • a network of support to carry your community project forward


Working with Conflict in Community Course

Starting From $120.00

(Price is per person)

Please keep an eye on your inbox and spam folder for a confirmation email from
Interested in signing up for individual classes, instead? Please click here.

Categories: ,

You might also be interested in