Overcoming a Conflict-Averse Culture & Building Stronger Relationships at Work

We all want to work in an office where people are polite, considerate, and kind. But it’s possible to be too nice, failing to disagree when it’s important to do so and never surfacing new ideas or innovations. Healthy, constructive conflicts are an essential part of producing good work, and yet many people don’t have the skills to disagree in a professional, productive way. In this talk, Amy combines management research and practical insights to provide straightforward advice on how to navigate difficult conversations and be more effective at work.


  • Recognize whether you -- and your counterpart -- are typically a conflict avoider or seeker

  • Assess your options for addressing a disagreement

  • Know when to walk away

  • Prepare for and engage in difficult conversations

  • Manage your emotions

  • Develop a collaborative resolution

Navigating Conflict for Women: How to Advocate for Yourself and Be Heard

Every day we navigate offices full of competing interests, clashing personalities, limited time and resources, and fragile egos. While some of us enjoy a lively debate with colleagues and others prefer to avoid disagreements, we all struggle with conflict at work. We want strong relationships with our coworkers, bosses, and clients but that’s not always easy, especially when time is tight and resources are limited. So how can you deal with inevitable disagreements in a professional and productive way, especially as a woman? In this talk, Amy combines management research and practical insights on difficult conversations, collaborative relationships, and negotiations for women at work.


  • A deeper understanding of the interpersonal dynamics, including gender dynamics, that affect collaboration

  • Increased confidence and comfort in building strong working relationships with clients, coworkers, and employees

  • Better awareness of your communication style and the impact on peers, direct reports, and clients

  • An expanded repertoire of skills and abilities to negotiate, work collaboratively, build trusting relationships, and navigate competing interests

Giving and Receiving Feedback Even When You Don’t Want To

We all know that we’re supposed to give feedback to our colleagues and ask for it in return. But that’s often easier said than done, especially because emotions run high in these sorts of difficult conversations. In this session, Amy combines management research and practical insights.


  • Understand the importance of a feedback-rich culture and your role in creating one

  • Learn new approaches for giving and receiving feedback

  • Develop increased confidence in navigating tricky feedback situations, such as disagreeing with someone more senior and giving input to a peer