Constructive Confrontation: When Conflict Enhances Collaboration
Richard Shell, academic co-director at Wharton, leads two popular programs that address different aspects of collaboration and confrontation. Strategic Persuasion Workshop: The Art and Science of Selling Ideas focuses on winning people over to create alignment. The Executive Negotiation Workshop: Bargaining for Advantage addresses situations where at least one party sees a conflict of interest. "In the suite of executive education courses, some people get a lot of value from taking both the negotiation and strategic persuasion programs," Shell says. "Negotiation is more concentrated on the conflict part, while Strategic Persuasion focuses more broadly on organizational persuasion." As Shell points out, the best victories are those where there are no casualties and no one fires a shot. "True victory in The Art of War is when you don't have to fight and you still win." In this case, avoiding confrontation may be the best course.