Making Conflict Work

Making Conflict Work: Navigating Disagreement Up and Down Your Organization

April 27, 2018
Making Conflict Work: Navigating Disagreement Up and Down Your Organization

9:00am - 5:00pm EST
Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY

Registration Fee: $995
(registration fee includes continental breakfast and lunch)

Units Awarded: 7 CTLEs (7 contact hours)

Program Description:


  • How well do you manage disagreements with your boss or other superiors?
  • How do you handle different perspectives with employees you supervise, especially the difficult ones?
  • How do you get subordinates to honestly share creative ideas, feedback, and innovative problem solving?

This 1-day workshop stresses the importance of leaders developing the capacity to adapt: to use a range of effective strategies to navigate power-unequal conflicts in organizations, marshaling potential energy and avoiding pitfalls.

The workshop utilizes tools featured in the award-winning book Making Conflict Work (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2014), by Peter Coleman and Robert Ferguson.


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robert posing

Robert Ferguson, Ph.D., Psychologist, Executive Coach, Consultant, Instructor at the International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution (ICCCR), Teachers College, Columbia University. Co-author of Making Conflict Work, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2014).


Anyone who works in an organization. Perhaps you are a leader who wants more honesty from people who report to you. Of maybe you need better strategies for reaching your goals when you disagree with your boss.

Whether you lead a department, an entire business, a school, a government unit, a board, or a nonprofit - if you want people to share their best innovative ideas, creative solutions, and candid feedback, you need conflict intelligence. If you are not the boss, but want better ways to manage and influence the people above you - so you can achieve organizational goals and your career objectives - you need conflict intelligence.

While conflicts sometime get tense, they usually manifest more subtly in organizations, as different perspectives, personalities, or as new ideas come into play. Before such disagreements escalate, conflict intelligent leaders and employees know how to use various strategies to get where they want to go. When power differences are involved, many standard conflict resolution techniques fail. This workshop provides a wide array of practical strategies for navigating the differences between parties of unequal power. We offer a vital set of useful tools for any organization facing change, diversity of opinions, or a greater need for candor and creativity.


Session topics will include:

  • The Secret Formula of Conflict Intelligence: 1-3-7-7-10, what it means and how to pragmatically apply it to reach your goals.
  • Your Conflict I.Q.: An individualized profile detailing your tendencies, strengths and challenges for navigating power and conflict at work;
  • The Seven Strategies of Making Conflict Work: How to increase your repertoire of artful strategies and tactics for conflict management up, down and across the hierarchies of power.
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