The Art of Conflict Management

The Art of Conflict Management
Course Trailer
Why Conflict Management Matters
1: Why Conflict Management Matters

The study of conflict management has made enormous strides since the mid-20th century. In this introductory lecture, learn what conflict is, why it is inevitable even in successful relationships, and why dealing with it constructively is both essential and beneficial, whether in your business or personal life.

32 min
The Adversary System
2: The Adversary System

Recognition of conflict and its costs goes back to the philosophers of ancient Greece. Grasp both the advantages and disadvantages of the system they devised to cope with it, including the adversary system's underlying assumption that conflicts are inherently competitive, with resolutions requiring winners and losers.

31 min
Morton Deutsch and the Concept of Win-Win
3: Morton Deutsch and the Concept of Win-Win

Meet the founder of modern conflict management theory, whose research resulted in a far different approach than that envisioned from the adversarial perspective. His finding that most conflicts can, in fact, produce a "win" for both sides has dominated the field for the last 60 years....

31 min
Perception, Perspective, and Punctuation
4: Perception, Perspective, and Punctuation

Conflict arises not so much out of differences between parties, but in how those differences are perceived by each side. Gain fresh insight into the factors that shape those perceptions, including the critically important fundamental attribution error, of which just about everyone is guilty....

31 min
Managing Multiple and Conflicting Emotions
5: Managing Multiple and Conflicting Emotions

Emotions, even when powerfully felt, do not have to derail your attempts to manage or resolve a conflict. This lecture describes the role these "internal facts" play in any conflict and offers useful tools for recognizing and handling them in yourself and others.

28 min
Multiple, Complex, and Changing Goals
6: Multiple, Complex, and Changing Goals

Goals that appear simple on the surface actually have many layers, with each concealing different needs. Add a key skill to successfully managing conflict by learning to identify the multiple goals driving both parties.

29 min
Power-How Much We Need and How to Use It
7: Power-How Much We Need and How to Use It

Power is in play in every conflict, but its "advantage" is less than you may think. This discussion of the sources and uses of power reveals a valuable insight from recent research: that lasting resolutions are more likely when power is equally distributed....

32 min
Conflict Styles
8: Conflict Styles

An exploration of the five most common "default strategies," or styles, of conflict management upends a commonly held assumption. Compromise, it seems, is not the most effective conflict management strategy. It produces results far less desirable than the preferred strategy for producing "win-win" results, which is collaboration....

28 min
Dysfunctional Conflict Strategies
9: Dysfunctional Conflict Strategies

Dissect the rogue's gallery of strategies that should never become your ongoing conflict management style and that are best avoided unless they are the only viable alternatives. Delve into the damage that can be done through avoidance, withdrawal, imposition, triangulation, manipulation, absolute framing, payback, or compromise....

31 min
Principled Negotiation
10: Principled Negotiation

Explore the basic principles underlying the true "win-win" approach. These include understanding the importance of separating people from the problem; focusing on interests instead of positions; generating multiple options for mutual gain; and basing your choices on objective criteria.

30 min
Preparing and Arranging to Negotiate
11: Preparing and Arranging to Negotiate

Approaching a negotiation can be just as important as the negotiation itself. This lecture explains the steps you need to take in first recognizing whether the basic conditions for negotiation are present and then arranging for the actual negotiation.

31 min
Negotiating Conflict Resolutions
12: Negotiating Conflict Resolutions

Enhance your chances for success at the table by absorbing the essential "how-to" steps for conducting the negotiation, gaining a clear agreement, and following through-including the steps you should take when agreements are or aren't kept.

31 min
Listening in Conflict
13: Listening in Conflict

It's one of the most important skills you can have in your relationship tool kit, but it's also one in which many of us fall short. Learn the fundamentals of this demanding skill, including the key things you should focus on in discerning someone's real messages....

30 min
Dynamic Patterns in Close Relationships
14: Dynamic Patterns in Close Relationships

Dealing with conflict in your personal relationships, whether with friends, family, work colleagues, neighbors, or simply acquaintances, requires its own special set of skills. Gain vital insights into the conflict management styles that can sustain or damage those relationships.

32 min
Disruptions in Close Relationships
15: Disruptions in Close Relationships

There are steps you can take to avoid conflict in a close relationship or manage and resolve conflict when it does inevitably occur. However, when a destabilizing event-such as a serious illness-creates what is known as a critical communications context, the special insights offered here become even more important.

29 min
How Management Theories Affect Conflict
16: How Management Theories Affect Conflict

Explore the impact of several accepted theories of management to understand why the biggest losses to organizations don't come from major conflicts at all. Instead, they come from the accumulation of small, day-to-day ones.

31 min
The Manager's Role in Dealing with Conflict
17: The Manager's Role in Dealing with Conflict

Even when managers aren't actively involved in managing a conflict, their everyday actions help determine the frequency and seriousness of the conflicts that occur. Learn the steps managers need to know to create the best atmosphere possible for successful conflict management.

33 min
Getting Professional Help with Conflict
18: Getting Professional Help with Conflict

Several decades of focus on conflict management have led to a wide array of professional specialties, each devoted to different aspects of conflict management. Become familiar with the different skills of mediators, arbitrators, ombudsmen, counselors, and informal organizational "priests"-as well as when to call on them.

31 min
Helping Others Manage Conflict
19: Helping Others Manage Conflict

What should you do as a nonprofessional to help others resolve a conflict? And how can you best do so? This lecture offers suggestions on the best procedures to follow and the pitfalls you need to avoid.

33 min
Moral and Cultural Conflicts
20: Moral and Cultural Conflicts

Conflicts based on moral and cultural differences can seem the most intractable of all, beyond anyone's skills of resolution. Nevertheless, there are steps that can achieve positive and lasting progress. Grasp the essential principles of reframing the issues, fractionating them into resolvable pieces, and developing empathy and mutual trust between opposing sides....

30 min
Managing Moral Conflicts-Success Stories
21: Managing Moral Conflicts-Success Stories

See how the principles of the previous lecture are put into successful practice to resolve three notable conflicts long in the public eye. In particular, learn how they were used by President Jimmy Carter in the Camp David Accords and President Ronald Reagan in the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty talks.

30 min
Managing Conflict's Aftermath
22: Managing Conflict's Aftermath

Conflicts are rarely "over" when negotiations conclude, even when the results are successful. Gain insights into the concepts of acceptance, apology, amends, forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, and even the escalation that can follow in conflict's wake.

32 min
Teaching Our Children about Conflict
23: Teaching Our Children about Conflict

Some of the strongest advances in the study of conflict management have been in how to pass on what we have learned to the next generation. Examine the different ways children learn about conflict and what we are already doing to improve that process.

30 min
Conflict Management-A Success in Progress
24: Conflict Management-A Success in Progress

Compare what you've learned in this course to what was known about conflict and its management in 1950, before research really began in earnest. Conclude the course with 10 key takeaway points, each of which can be applied in your own life right now.

35 min
Michael Dues

There really are better ways to handle conflict. The Great Courses gave me an excellent way to explain these 'better ways' to a worldwide audience.

ALMA MATER

Indiana University

INSTITUTION

Indiana University

About Michael Dues

Dr. Michael Dues is Senior Lecturer in Communication at The University of Arizona, where he also served as head of the Department of Communication. The holder of an M.A. in American History from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. in Communication and American Studies from Indiana University, Professor Dues has spent 40 years not only as an award-winning teacher and respected scholar, but also as a successful organizational consultant, working with both public and private organizations on the human aspects of management. Honored for consistently excellent teaching by both The University of Arizona and California State University, Sacramento, Professor Dues has also written widely for academic and trade publications. His books include Boxing Plato's Shadow: An Introduction to the Study of Human Communication and The Practice of Organizational Communication, both coauthored with his spouse, Mary Brown; and The Pursuit of Probable Truth: A Primer on Argument. He also served seven years as an ombudsman for The University of Arizona. In his work on conflict, he draws not only on academic studies but also on his broad experience as an administrator, a consultant, and a practitioner.

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