Navigating Workplace Conflict

Kellogg School of Management

What are the topics?

Kellogg School of Management


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Read more about Negotiations

Negotiating is a skill that everyone needs because throughout our lives we face situations that require us to communicate correctly, whether it's buyi...

Who should attend

  • Seasoned professionals who want to improve their conflict management skills
  • Sales and marketing managers, merger and acquisition professionals, entrepreneurs, purchasing managers and human resource professionals
  • Government administrators and administrators of not-for-profit organizations
  • Managers coordinating across functions, businesses or cultures
  • Family businesses
  • Team leaders

About the course

There is a science to transforming conflict into collaboration. As the business world becomes more complex, a collaborative culture is essential within all types of institutions from small businesses to global organizations. As change becomes a bigger constant, there will inevitably be disagreement on how to move forward. However, these changes will present growth opportunity.

In this highly interactive program, you will learn to use the fundamental structure of conflict management to move from conflict to collaboration acting either as a party in a conflict or as a third-party facilitator. You will learn how to defuse anger, repair broken trust and rebuild stressed relationships with peers, subordinates, superiors, clients and customers. You will learn how to leverage the challenges of a diverse workgroup into opportunities that incubate creativity. Participants will engage in realistic conflict simulations that challenge them to manage emotions, agendas and to achieve organizational success.

Key Benefits

  • Learn conflict management strategies to transform conflict into collaboration
  • Understand the fundamental structure of conflict
  • De-escalate conflict as an involved party or as a third party facilitator (superior or peer)
  • Recognize your personal conflict style
  • Manage angry clients
  • Resolve potentially destructive, emotionally charged disputes

Program Content

Negotiating with Colleagues and Business Partners

  • Understand Interests — the reasons why people are in conflict
  • Understand Rights — the reasons why people think they should prevail
  • Understand Power — the assets people have to impose their will on others

Multi-party Negotiation across Silos and Business Units

  • Leverage interests, rights, and power to transform conflict into collaboration
  • Understand agreement types designed to meet mutually beneficial goals
  • Engage diverse groups and teams
  • Defuse anger, develop trust and build relationships

Managing Negative Emotions

  • Analyze your own reaction to anger in the workplace
  • Learn productive ways to direct negative emotions
  • Distinguish between anger as a tactic and anger as frustration
  • Learn how to turn negative emotions into collaboration
  • Learn constructive ways to address emotions

Addressing Diversity and Conflict

  • Understand power, gender and ethics
  • Acknowledge personalities
  • Discover how to motivate parties

Leading Third Parties, Peers and Superiors in Dispute Resolution

  • Learn the skills of effective third parties in conflict management
  • Learn to use a third party to help you manage conflict and help you arrive at mutual interests
  • Recognize that third parties in organizations are not neutral and have power

Special Feature:

  • Faculty-authored books
  • Live simulations of workplace conflict scenarios
  • Post-program: Videos and templates you can use with your team and in your organization to optimally manage conflict


Leigh Thompson

Leigh Thompson is the J. Jay Gerber Distinguished Professor of Dispute Resolution and Organizations at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. An acclaimed researcher, author, and speaker, Thompson’s research focuses on negotiation, creativity, and teamwork. Thompson’s books...

Lauren Rivera

Lauren Rivera is an expert on workplace personnel practices, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has written extensively on hiring and promotion practices in elite professional service firms. Her award-winning book Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs (Princeton Universit...

Videos and materials

Navigating Workplace Conflict at Kellogg School of Management

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Negotiations

During Negotiations courses, you will learn the following components of negotiations: planning negotiations and useful tools, starting your conversation, working out objections and competent argumentation, imposing your own price and conversation dev...

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.