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COM 70 — Dealing with Conflict: Communication Skills to Manage and Resolve Tension

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Jan 24—Mar 13
Time: 7:00—9:15 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Jan 26
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $615
Instructor(s): Marianne Neuwirth
Limit: 30
Class Recording Available: No
Status: Open
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
7:00—9:15 pm (PT)
Jan 24—Mar 13
8 weeks
Refund Date
Jan 26
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Marianne Neuwirth
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
One of our most vexing yet common challenges is how to deal with conflict effectively. This course is designed for those who desire greater nuance in communicating with others during difficult and seemingly intransigent conflicts and missed connections. Effective listening and communicating with clarity and fluency result in decreased stress, increased job satisfaction, commitment to relationships, and accountability for work performance.

In this course, we will explore seeds of conflict, methods to prevent or redirect its trajectory, and specific templates to either manage or resolve conflict. We will focus on dealing with difficult bosses and co-workers, challenging employees, and mystifying family members. Through training in asking effective and creative questions, participating in role-plays and case studies, and receiving feedback, students will analyze and create inventive ways to address their most difficult interpersonal dilemmas. Students will learn specific techniques for establishing boundaries, calling out offensive behavior, managing power differences, and defusing conflict with precision and grace. Theories from prominent communication scholars, negotiation experts, and relationship professionals will be used as source material. By the end of the course, students will have a deeper understanding of their own conflict style, various ways to address different types and sources of conflict, and a greater repertoire of skills for deciphering messages and discerning the most effective communication path forward.

Advanced-level proficiency in spoken English is required.

Communication Teacher, Consultant, and Coach

Marianne Neuwirth coaches and consults with students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and various other departments at Stanford, local professionals, and international executives, teaching leadership, persuasion, storytelling, public speaking, and conflict resolution skills. She also trains researchers on how to communicate their work publicly and conversationally in succinct and compelling ways. She received a PhD in communication from the University of Utah.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.