Based on the book, Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, authored by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen, this course challenges students to master key communication and conflict processing skills. Negotiating when we are personally and emotionally involved is one of our greatest challenges. But is it possible not to be involved? Can we check our feelings at the door? Communication skills, like handling challenging conversations, allow negotiation to happen, and help us get back on track when things get stuck. The course focuses on two skills dimensions: internal skills – the ability to work with your thoughts and feelings before and during a conversation; and external skills – the things we need to say and do in a conversation to help it go better.
Mastering these skills offers the possibility of negotiation success even when your negotiating partners do not share your aspiration to collaborate. The course is constructed as an intensive workshop, including group discussion, simulations, and challenging conversations set in a wide variety of contexts.