Making Conflict Work is now available in Japanese! 

Recently translated into Japanese, Making Conflict Work is now published in Japan, Taiwan, Russia, and the UK as well as the US. Find the Japanese translation here!

Making Conflict Work on the List of 100 Best Conflict Resolution Books of All Time!

Coming in 44/100, Making Conflict Work has been featured on the Book Authority List for 100 best conflict resolution books.

Interview: How to Make Conflict Work with Peter Coleman and Robert Ferguson

Peter T. Coleman and Robert Ferguson discuss their new book, “Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement” with AC4’s Beth Fisher-Yoshida.

You’re a leader. But you can’t stomach what your company is doing: Consider “Principled Rebellion”

Making Conflict Work Co-Author Robert Ferguson offers thoughts on strategically engaging with ethical conflict at work through “Principled Rebellion” in the this CNN Business feature. Read more here:

Watch Dr. Coleman’s talk at the 2016 Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service fmcs-logo-1-final1-mobile(FMCS) National Labor-Management Conference

Nationally-recognized expert Peter T. Coleman of Columbia University presents at the 2016 FMCS National Labor-Management Conference in Chicago. Here he provides employer and union representatives with a set of practical conflict management techniques supported by the research presented in his groundbreaking book Making Conflict Work.

You can view the clip at:

Watch Dr. Coleman’s Appearance on “Mornings with Maria” on Fox Business


Watch Dr. Peter T. Coleman’s appearance on “Mornings with Maria” on Fox Business, where he talked about how to most effectively manage workplace conflict based on the strategies outlined in Making Conflict Work. Dr. Coleman discusses how conflicts are most effectively addressed when people adapt their strategies to the needs of the specific situation.

Psychologists say the secret to dealing with conflict at work is to think like Dirty HarryQuartz_logo

by Robert Ferguson and Peter T. Coleman

At first glance, Dirty Harry and Mary Poppins may not seem to have a lot in common. But the two classic film characters share a specific philosophy when it comes to conflict resolution. And they each have a lot to teach us about dealing with disagreements in the workplace.

Read the full article at:

What to Do If Your Boss Asks You to Break the Rules

by Peter T. Coleman and Robert FergusonHBR-logo

All of us, at some point or another, are asked to break the rules at work.

It may be a small action, like rounding up or down in an accounts ledger, or a small inaction, like looking the other way while others do so. It may be a one-time request, like when one of us was asked to alter some documentation on a patient in a hospital we worked for. Or it may be a norm, like when we were encouraged by the nursing staff at the same hospital to sign in for other employees who were absent. It may be no big thing: hey, rules are made to be broken, right? Or it may be a big thing: think Volkswagen, Enron, and WorldCom.

Read the full article at:

Coleman and Ferguson are the authors of Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement, out this week.


“Endless summers” do little but incentivize workaholics to work more, while everyone else suffers negative consequences for time off.

Read the full article at

Interview: “The Morning Shift” (public affairs on WBEZ Chicago Public Radio)
Public radio

Robert Ferguson discusses the psychology of Discretionary Time Off policies (unlimited vacation), and how companies deal with conflict when power is unequal.

Listen to the interview at

Book Offers Advice On How To React To Conflict

By John Ostapkovich


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Although some people seem to thrive on conflict, many of us prefer not to deal with it, and thus squander any opportunities it presents. Correcting that is where a helpful new book comes in.

Read more of the article at

Increasing Your Conflict Intelligence: Five questions to ask yourself next time you find yourself in a dispute

By Peter T. Coleman and Robert FergusonPsychology Today

Managing the multitude of conflicts we face daily has not been simple since we first stepped onto the playground in preschool. Since that day, bullies, authority figures, competitors, friends, victims and enemies have complicated our conflict landscape. Today’s dispute-prone professional environments and political networks require us to have a wide array of conflict-management strategies and tactics and to be able to employ them artfully and effectively. This is what we call conflict intelligence.

Our research has found that although many of us tend to get stuck in one or two default approaches to negotiating conflict (like domination, avoidance or appeasement), our more effective peers and leaders are more nimble. They know their own hot buttons and traps, read situations more carefully, consider their short and long-term objectives, and then employ different strategies to different types of situations in order to increase the probabilities that their agenda will succeed. They know the difference between a temporary dispute and a long-term war. They know when to stay the course in negotiations and when to change tactics.  In The Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote,

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How to use conflict to your advantage at work

By Gwen Moran,

If you are wasting time always trying to keep the peace, you could be missing out on an important source of energy and innovation.  Whether we like it or not, conflict is a constant in life.  From big picture decisions about the future to where to eat lunch, every day we have myriad differences of opinion with others.  While some people plow through conflict to get their way, a 2010 study by Provo, Utah based leadership training firm VitalSmarts found that 95% of employees have trouble voicing differences of opinion, which results in a loss of roughly $1,500 per eight-hour workday in lost productivity, doing unneccesary work, and engaging in active avoidance of co-workers for every crucial conversation they avoid.  “People get motivated when they’re in conflict, they feel a rush…you can use that energy to sort of push through.  We’re constantly faced with choices and conflicts.  We work through the vast majority.  The conflicts that get the most attention are the ones that go bad or go wrong,” says Peter T. Coleman, psychology and education professor at New York City’s Columbia University and author of  the forthcoming Making Conflict Work: Harnessing the Power of Disagreement.

Read more of the article at

5 Questions College Students Should Ask for Making Conflict Work


As a college-age student, you are in a perfect sweet spot for conflict. Relationally, you are entering some of the most intense personal and romantic relationships of your life, not to mention separating from your parents and high school friends. And you have biology working against you too, because cognitively and emotionally, you are not quite fully equipped for conflict, as your prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain responsible for problem solving, foreseeing consequences of our behavior, and modulating our emotions), is in fact not fully formed and functional until you turn 25! This is why minors are viewed as less responsible for their actions in the U.S. legal system; they are neurologically less able to inhibit impulses, think long term, and make the connections necessary for sound, moral decisions. And hormonally they are in high gear.

Read the full article at

Mad With Power?

By Peter T. Coleman, PhD and Robert Ferguson, PhD.


Weeks after a chorus of international outrage erupted over the annexing of Crimea and the downing of Malaysia Airline’s Flight 17 in pro-Russian rebel airspace in Ukraine and the death of 298 civilians, Russia is unapologetically sending new military convoys equipped with mobile artillery into “sovereign” Ukraine. With growing casualties on the ground and increasing sanctions against Russia, Vladimir Putin appears steadfast in his determination to reclaim large sections of Ukraine — in particular its industrial heartland — through intimidation and violence, while denying any but humanitarian involvement there.

This raises the question: Is Putin psychotic?  In a word, yes.

Read the full post at