Course Pack: Constructive Conflict and Difficult Conversations

These curated resources, many referenced in our Constructive Conflict course, will help you to dig deeper into the topic and revisit some of the key concepts covered. We've shared the workshop slides too, for those planning to replay was covered among their teams. Embed your learning by sharing it with others!

Listen to learn, to resolve...

Listening Pair

In this bitesize and practical 15 minute self-led course, you'll practice proven ways to purposefully enhance your listening skills — critical when it comes to reframing conflict and creating opportunities to learn.

Resources and Recommended Reading

Read: 7 Tips for Difficult Conversations

Drawing from Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone's excellent book, some fundamentals are recapped on here — in a short piece originally published in Harvard Business Review.


Your inner Chimp can be either your best friend or your worst enemy, and this is the Chimp Paradox. Something that can certainly derail a conversation. Below are some resources to support a deeper delve into the concept.

Read: Steve Peters — the man behind The Chimp Paradox, shares his thinking.

Watch: Manage your chimp! The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters.

Read: How parents can train their children's inner chimp.


Listen: Decoding Difficult Conversations

Sheila Heen unpacks the layers within those conversations you're probably avoiding. In this Knowledge Project podcast with Farnam Street, Sheila dissects conversational contexts and shares some practical insights to help us reframe the idea of 'difficult' and ensure that effective communication takes place.


Read: 5 Keys of Dealing with Workplace Conflict

Leadership advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs, Mike Myatt, reveals what gets in the way of a constructive conflict, and guides you through some punchy steps to turn a small conflict resolution into a bigger conflict prevention.


Watch: The Gift of Conflict (TEDx Talk)

Author, coach and speaker Amy Gallo offers a glimpse into her years of conflict research, and points out the constellations needed to navigate the choppy seas of difficult conversations: empathy, emotional self-awareness, and being at peace with people being angry at you.


Listen: Coping with Conflict at Work (Amazing if..)

You know what's brilliant? Teams that shy away from difficult conversations are less productive, less creative and less united. To put it another way - conflict is a great creative, team building tool. In this episode of award winning podcast Amazing if..., Helen and Sarah reframe conflict, and give tips, tricks and thoughts to get the most out of it.


Read: Crucial Conversations

A bestselling, jargon free, no-nonsense guide to the ins and outs of conflict: Crucial Conversations steps out how to create a safe space where anything can be talked about, how to remain calm when emotions explode, and how to turn even the most contentious conversation into a productive parley.


Listen: What's Your Problem with Workplace Conflict? (That HR Podcast)

Joined by a six nations rugby player turned HR specialist, the CEO of collaboration consultancy company Let's Go and an array of other special guests, the team at People Management show you how to launder your language, mediate conflict and have better workplace disagreements.


Do: 'I..' Statements

'I..' statements are disarming tools to own your feedback without pinning blame, and this handy guide offers pointers, advice and lateral resources to get the most out of them.