Project Management Negotiations and Conflict Management

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 one- or two-day seminar is designed to expose project manager, those who lead project management offices, and any other persons engaged in project work to a set of skills necessary for effective negotiations and conflict management within the project environment.   It exposes participants 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. 

This course is designed to provide participants 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. 
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 workshop. 

The one-day and two-day versions of this workshop differ in the degree to which participants are engaged in exercises to hone their conflict management skills. 

The objectives of the workshop are to introduce skills, concepts and strategies 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 

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction to the workshop 

Module 1 provides participants with the opportunity to introduce themselves and identify expectations for the workshop.   It also presents the course outline and materials.

Module 2: Standard conflict management methods, conflict escalation, and communications models 

Module 2 describes the traditional methods for conflict resolution and conflict escalation and the “old” and “new” models of conflict management.   It introduces communications models that will be applied as more-effective conflict management methods are described and modeled.

Module 3: Positional bargaining: limits and strategies

Module 3 describes positional bargaining, the normal, but ineffective, way of reducing conflict to a force-base, zero-sum game.   Effective and “unfair” methods of positional bargaining are detailed.

Module 4: Introduction to interest-based negotiations and conflict management 

This module introduces the principled negotiations model (also referred to as interest based negotiations).   The tenets of that method are detailed and participants are provided the opportunity to see the difference between this modern method and position-based negotiations and to practice the application of the method.

Module 5: Structuring the conflict management or negotiations process

Module 5 presents the elements of a successful negotiations process and provides tips for putting an effective program in place.   Role-play exercises are included as learning aides.

Module 6: Keys to the application of effective conflict management and negotiations processes

In this last module before wrapping up the workshop, participants are provided best practices in conflict management and given the opportunity to practice their application to project conflict scenarios.

Module 7: Workshop wrap-up


The following individuals would benefit from participating in this workshop: 

  • Project managers

  • Project team managers

  • Functional and operations managers

  • PMO directors

  • Business analysts