In successful conflict management, we aim to solve problems without any preconceptions of what should happen. It’s an improvised process. But improvising isn’t always easy. We may get caught up in our own thoughts, try to create solutions too quickly, or feel lost when things don’t go as we’d planned.

This course is for you if you’d like to apply the skills of improv to your work in engagement and mediation. An iterative process of exercises and guided reflections will help you develop a solid understanding of the foundations of improv and its applications in mediation. With four weekly sessions, you’ll have ample opportunities to practice these skills so they start becoming second nature in your work and day-to-day life.

This course will help you build your toolbox of “improv-for-conflict management”, including active listening and presence, letting go and following others’ lead, acceptance and building on what’s offered, suspension of judgment, spontaneity and creative thinking. The more practice you get with these skills through improv exercises, the more easily you’ll be able to integrate them into your work.



12 Hours




Zoë Barrett-Wood

Richard Moore


Feedback from Intro to Improv for Mediators Workshop (November 9, 2021)

“Mediators, learn to use improvisation skills to augment your mediation skills. Improv incorporates things one encounters in a mediation and can help you facilitate conflict resolution in a more efficient and less stressful way for yourself and your clients. I worked in mediation for eight years before studying improv. I wish I’d studied both simultaneously.”(George Brose, Child Protection Mediator)


“A great way to learn different approaches to dealing with everyday situations of work and life.”
(Kelly Hill-Berardi, Senior Property Manager)


“Excellent facilitator, easy intro to improv, non-intimidating… Really had a good appreciation for where it might be valuable in my work. I spend a lot of time preparing in my work; this was a good reminder of the need to be focused in the moment and of the value in practicing being unprepared”.

About the Facilitators

Zoë Barrett-Wood is an improviser, actor, and facilitator. She has studied with some of the top acting and improv teachers in Canada, and has performed on stages and screens across North America. Zoë has taught improv to those in the private and public sectors, and has led theatre-based conflict transformation workshops for a wide range of clients. Zoë also has a background in environmental science and worked for a decade on projects related to land protection and community health. She aims to approach all her work with openness, compassion, vulnerability, and a healthy dose of humour.

Richard Moore has many years experience as a facilitator, mediator, conflict coach and conflict management trainer. He brings a low-key, facilitative style to both his conflict interventions and his training workshops. He holds a BA from Carleton University, an LLB from Queen’s and Chartered Mediator, Family Mediator, Med-Arbitration and Arbitration professional designations from the ADR Institute of Canada. He is a founder of the Canadian Collaborative for Engagement and Conflict Management and author of a recent book on relationship building and de-escalation.