Communication and Conflict – How to Navigate Difficult People and Difficult Conversations

Available dates

Jul 15, 2020
New Jersey, United States
USD 475
USD 475 per day
Jul 22, 2020
Dallas, Texas, United States
USD 475
USD 475 per day


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About the course

Do you struggle with problem employees that challenge you at every turn? Does it seem like these people enjoy "debating" you more than contributing to the goals of your organization? Have you ever had a proposal flounder simply because the room was resistant to change? Many communication experts focus on interpersonal communication techniques to help resolve these difficult situations. Dr. Jarrod Atchison, known for his Great Courses series on The Art of Debate, takes a different approach that focuses on preventing and resolving conflict through learning the theory and practice of argumentation. After decades of experience, he believes that the best way to avoid a "debate" is to change the argumentative terrain available to your audience. The best managers use argumentation techniques without being seen as "argumentative". The best proposals already account for objections which enables you to be brilliant rather than defensive. Participants will learn argumentation theory and practice as they move between "argumentation as inquiry" where participants will learn how to use argumentation techniques to improve decision-making and "argumentation as advocacy" where participants will learn how to defend and advance positions in their organizations. Come learn how to advance in your organization and deal with your "problem" employees by avoiding "debate" by learning the theory and practice of argumentation. Dr. Atchison’s combination of theory and practice stems from his work as a scholar, director of one of the premier intercollegiate debate programs in the country, and as a consultant.

Time allocation - topics

  • 10% what is debate and how can we use it?
    • When should managers consider utilizing debate?
  • 40% argumentation as inquiry
    • What is the structure of an argument?
    • How do we evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of an argument?
    • How can we use debate to improve decision-making?
  • 40% argumentation as advocacy
    • What are the key techniques for winning an argument?
    • What are the pitfalls associated with poor debating?
    • How do we prepare for spontaneous argument environments (spe)?
  • 10% how do we “win” the debate without “losing” the war?
    • What is the role of “saving face” in management settings?

Trust the experts

Jarrod Atchison

Dr. Jarrod Atchison is the director of debate and an associate professor in the Communication Department at Wake Forest University. The Wake Forest University debate team dates back to 1835 and has won multiple national championships. As an undergraduate debater, Dr. Atchison was Presidential Sch...


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