Negotiations and Conflict Management

Negotiations & Conflict Management Workshop

14 PDUs                                                                                              2 Days

This two-day workshop is designed to provide project managers with an understanding of the concepts necessary for effective negotiations and conflict management within the project management framework and to increase their skills in these key areas of project management.  In this workshop, participants will be provided with a level of understanding and a skill set with which to continue to hone their skills toward even higher levels of expertise.  Every course participant will become better at conflict management and negotiation as a result of their participation in this two-day workshop.

The goals of this workshop are to:

  • Improve negotiations and conflict management skills within the project management context and the application of the triple constraint model
  • Develop an understanding of the common causes of conflict and shortcomings of many negotiations processes
  • Introduce participants to important fundamentals and concepts of effective negotiations and conflict management
  • Create an understanding of human interactions and motivations within the negotiations and conflict management processes
  • Build negotiation and conflict management skills
  • Allow participants to practice the application of those skills
  • Increase participant comfort with conflict and negotiations
  • Inspire participants to apply effective negotiation and conflict management techniques

Though participants will be provided with extensive practice in conflict management and negotiations in the course of the next two days, they may not become a fully effective negotiator and conflict manager by the close of this workshop.  That may take additional practice and self-study.  Though conflict with vendors is common and will be addressed in general terms in this workshop, this workshop does not explicitly address the negotiation of agreements with vendors for goods or services or the types of contracts or agreements that might be negotiated between buyers and sellers.

Relationship to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®, Guide, Fourth Edition)

This workshop complies with the standards of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®, Guide, Fourth Edition).  The case studies that you will employ to hone your skills are based on common project management situations and problems.  For those persons who hold the PMP® certification, 14 Professional Development Units (PDUs) can be earned for participation in this workshop.

Importance of Conflict Management and Negotiations in the Project Management Process

Throughout the project management process, negotiations, conflict management, and tradeoffs among cost, time, and quality goals are critical to project success.  Project managers negotiate:

  • With functional managers for resources
  • With vendors to arrive at contract terms that harmonize buyer and seller interests
  • With stakeholders for the development of the project scope within the triple constraint model
  • With team members when conflict arises
  • When project changes are requested
  • Over resources and assignments
  • With the sponsor
  • Tradeoffs within the “triple constraint model”
  • In nearly every project phase and process

According to PMI’s Role Delineation Study, conflict management and negotiations are the second most important skill area for project managers, second only to communicating effectively.  Negotiating and managing conflict effectively are challenges that can make the difference between project success and failure, particularly for complex projects and those with a high degree of strategic importance and high-level interactivity.  At the same time, they are difficult skills for many project managers to master.

This two-day workshop is designed to expose project managers and those who lead project management offices to a set of skills necessary for effective negotiations and conflict management within the project environment.  It exposes project managers to several of the most difficult issues of negotiations and conflict management and provides important insights into negotiation and facilitation that will empower them to reach win-win solutions, reduce destructive conflict, use conflict creatively, build relationships, and ensure project success.

Conflict Management and Negotiations: Use of Terms

During this workshop, we will use the terms negotiation and conflict management together and interchangeably.  If we would attempt to distinguish between them, we would define them as:

  • Negotiations: the art and science of crafting agreements among parties that meet the needs of all parties.
  • Conflict management: the process of identifying conflict, maintaining it within reasonable bounds, mining it for effective change, and creating win-win solutions that address the interests of the parties.

The model we will use to explore effective conflict management is called “The Principled Negotiations Model,” a title that underscores the connection between the two definitions.  As we will see in the workshop, conflict management is a necessary skill for effective negotiations.  Similarly, managing conflict requires negotiations to create win-win solutions.

Though this workshop is focused on conflict management and negotiations within the project management framework, the skills you develop here and the concepts you will master are applicable to many areas of your home and work life.  Those people who can confront conflict comfortably and find effective and creative agreements are in high demand and often very successful in many dimensions of their lives.

Course Agenda

The following topics will be covered in the workshop:

  • Negotiations, conflict management, and tradeoffs in the project management environment
  • Standard conflict management methods and communication models
  • The limits of position-based negotiations
  • Introduction to interest-based conflict management

Students will participate in a number of role-playing exercises.  In those exercises, it is expected that participants will:

  • Provide constructive and well-intentioned feedback to other participants as they assume leadership roles in exercises
  • Play their roles within character but without taking extreme or combative positions
  • Declare a halt to the role-play exercise if it has become threatening or unproductive.
  • Share roles as necessary to allow each participant to gain experience.

Workshop Outline

Day 1:

Introduction to the Project Management Conflict Management and Negotiation Workshop
Workshop Introduction

Negotiation, Conflict Management, and Tradeoffs in the Project Management Environment
Negotiation and Conflict Management within Different Contexts
The Necessary Skills for the Project Manager
Standard Conflict Management Methods, Conflict Escalation, and Communication Models
Views about Conflict
The Limitations of Conventional Conflict Management Methods
Communication Models for Effective Conflict Management and
The Goals of Conflict Management in Projects

Positional Bargaining: Limits and Strategies
Introduction to Positional Bargaining
Techniques of Positional Bargaining

Introduction to Interest-Based Conflict Management and Negotiation
The Principled Negotiation Model

Day 2

Structuring the Conflict Management or Negotiation Process
The Conflict Management Process

Keys to the Application of Effective Conflict Management and
Negotiation and Practicum
Keys to Effective Application of the Principled Negotiations Process
Application of Conflict Management and Negotiation Principles and

Advanced Topics, Practicum, and Wrap-up
Advanced Topics in Conflict Management
Final Role-Play in Conflict Management


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Negotiations & Conflict Management