Online LearningCareer Education6 Best Online Conflict Management Courses for 2023 | Pros & Cons

6 Best Online Conflict Management Courses for 2023 | Pros & Cons

Humans are different, so we tend to have varied opinions and points of view. Inevitably, this can lead to a conflict in a team, an organization, or even between business partners, damaging the relationships and undermining the potential over time.

Therefore, conflict management is an essential soft skill for everyone, especially if you are a manager, executive, or entrepreneur responsible for business operations. This is because a severe workplace conflict can diminish business performance and even bring down a once stellar corporation.

Developing such a skill is not too difficult. You can master it by taking high-quality online courses. However, since many of them are available, finding the one that fits your needs can be time-consuming.

Hence, I decided to write this article to do the heavy lifting for you. I will cover only the best online conflict management courses available and elaborate on their pros & cons so that you can pick the proper training in no time.

Affiliate Disclosure: This article from Victory Tale contains affiliate links. We will receive a small commission from our partners if you enroll in their courses.

Nonetheless, we always value integrity and prioritize our audience’s interests. You can rest assured that we will present each course truthfully.

Things You Should Know

Prerequisites

All conflict management courses have no prerequisites. Everyone can start taking the course without prior experience.

Criteria

Below are the criteria for the best conflict management courses

  • Taught by an expert in the field
  • Available on a user-friendly platform
  • Offer top-notch study materials
  • Provide excellent value for money
  • Receive primarily positive reviews from actual students
  • My personal experience with the course, instructor, and platform (if any) must be positive.

1. Managing Conflicts on Projects with Cultural and Emotional Intelligence

This self-paced course from the University of Maryland will introduce you to the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM). This highly regarded principle can help teams dampen horrible communication habits and resolve conflicts.

online conflict management courses on edX

Course Content

Below are the topics that you will learn in this course:

  • A brief explanation of the “Social World”
  • Introduction to Emotional Intelligence (EI): Self-perception & self-expression, interpersonal decision making, stress management, etc.
  • Four steps of Cultural Intelligence (CI): Drive, Knowledge, Strategy, Action
  • Introduction to CMM: Definition, CMM tools, etc.
  • Deep dive into CMM tools: How to use SEAVA to diagnose and resolve a team conflict

Generally speaking, you will first learn about the key concepts of EI and CI and understand how to develop such intelligence. Upon completion, you will become a project manager with a high “ethos” whom team members can trust.

conflict resolution courses online on edX

Subsequently, the course will drill deep into CMM and how to leverage your EI/CI along with using various CMM tools to unveil communication problems and generate a reliable solution for your team and organization.

The curriculum gears toward project management and workplace conflicts. Hence, it is unarguably the best option for team managers or business executives.

Regarding the pace, the university recommends spending 3-5 hours per week, and you will complete the course in 5 weeks. However, the course is 100% self-paced. You can create an independent study schedule that suits your lifestyle.

As an edX course, auditing all the lessons is free. Alternatively, you can purchase the verified track ($199 one-time) to access grading and a digital certificate.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unarguably one of the best conflict resolution courses for project managers
  • Taught by a faculty member who is a certified training manager for multiple leadership programs, including one at the US Patent and Trademark Office.
  • Well-structured curriculum, geared toward workplace conflicts
  • Based on a well-regarded principle
  • Include several high-quality readings
  • Each video lesson has readable transcripts.
  • Self-paced learning
  • Free auditing

Cons

  • Some lessons should be more informative.
  • Lesson quizzes are too basic.

2. Bridging Differences

This edX course from the University of Berkeley will explore research-based methods and strategies for forming better relationships. Unlike the first course, this one focuses more on conflicts in universities or educational institutes.

However, based on my observations, the content of this online course is still beneficial for everyone who wants to enhance conflict resolution skills.

Course Content

This course will cover the following topics:

  • The situation when you should or should not bridge differences with someone else
  • The impact of bridging differences in individuals and communities
  • How to be aware of your biases and prejudices and handle them suitably
  • Verbal/non-verbal communication skills to help strengthen relationships (Active listening and compassionate speaking)
  • How to find commonalities between you and others
  • Methods to foster positive interactions among conflicting groups
course activities on edX online conflict resolution course
Course activities

Unlike the first course, this one will not introduce you to new concepts or terminologies. It will suggest various tips and techniques that you can use to apply in the real world to resolve conflict and improve your negotiation skills.

Auditing the course is free, but you will not be able to access graded assignments and a digital certificate. To do so, you will need a verified track, which costs $169 one-time

Recommended Pace: 2-3 hours per week for two months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Taught by two professors of psychology from a world-renowned US university
  • Beginner-friendly curriculum
  • Include multiple practical tips and techniques for effective conflict resolution
  • Offer high-quality, informative readings and case studies
  • Self-paced learning
  • Free auditing

Cons

  • Provide no ungraded quizzes (this means that those who audit will not gain access to any assessment.)

3. Managing Conflict and Polarization in the Workplace and Beyond

If your organization is plagued by severe workplace polarization, this course from Jesus College (one of the University of Cambridge’s oldest colleges) could come to the rescue.

This course focuses on helping working professionals handle workplace conflicts. You will learn crucial tips to bridge divides in your home, team, or even at an organization level.

Course Content

Below are the topics that you will learn from this course:

  • Polarization: Ingroups and Outgroups
  • The impact of conflict on other aspects of your life
  • The influence of technology that potentially alleviates or worsens workplace conflict
  • How to assess complex causes of conflict and lead groups to resolve those issues
  • Subconscious participation in polarization
  • Reshaping yourself and others to address polarization

The curriculum offers thorough cumulative insights on how to manage workplace conflict, which I find highly useful.

However, unlike most other courses, you will spend most of the time on the readings (tons of external resources you can read further) and responding to thought-provoking questions. Upon completion, you will be confident crafting a practical conflict management plan.

You can audit this course for free. Alternatively, a verified track is available for $99.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Excellent choice for working professionals who suffer from workplace conflict
  • Taught by a team of three experts, including a behavioral scientist, a managing director specializing in corporate affairs, and a political advisor
  • Offer various sets of top-notch readings, plus external resources
  • Self-paced learning
  • Free auditing

Cons

  • Not the best option if you want to learn from videos

4. Conflict Management Specialization

This Coursera specialization from the University of California, Irvine features multiple practical approaches to conflict resolution.

You will learn how to turn conflict into collaboration and enhance your interpersonal skills to improve personal and professional relationships.

Conflict management specialization by UCI

Course Content

This specialization consists of four minor courses as follows:

1. Types of Conflict – This first course will introduce you to various types of conflict. You will then understand how such knowledge can be instrumental in smooth resolutions. Later, you will learn how to utilize conflict’s “positivity” to bridge differences.

2. Conflict Resolution Skills – The second course will guide you through elementary conflict resolution skills. You will learn to become an active listener, employ proper verbal and nonverbal communication skills, and create a functional plan to mitigate conflict.

in-course case studies

3. Intercultural Communication and Conflict Resolution – Due to the emergence of technology, interactions of people from different cultures skyrocket, and so do conflicts.

In this course, you will explore the dimensions and dynamics of intercultural interactions and plan strategies to bridge cultural differences.

4. Conflict Management Project – The final course is a project for students to apply what they have learned and obtain the necessary hands-on experience. You will identify the cause of the conflict and create an appropriate action plan.

Generally speaking, the curriculum of this specialization is cumulative. You will first explore the critical elements of conflict and gradually develop your skills to devise a practical mitigation plan. Therefore, upon completion, you will have sufficient tips and techniques to apply in real life.

The course is video-based with almost no readings. Hence, this would be particularly useful to those who like to learn from videos.

As a Coursera specialization, auditing is 100% free. However, you will not be able to access graded assignments and a digital certificate unless you subscribe to the full program, which costs $39 per month.

Pace: 1 hour per week for four months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Taught by two faculty members from the University of California, Irvine
  • Cumulative curriculum covering various aspects of conflict and resolution planning strategies
  • Easy-to-follow, practical video lectures
  • Include a thorough section on conflict analysis
  • Organized captions and transcripts
  • Self-paced learning
  • Free auditing

Cons

  • Some students believe the lessons should be more informative.
  • Offer almost no reading materials

5. Conflict Transformation

Unlike all other courses on this list, this course from Emory University will not guide you through conflict resolution steps.

Instead, it will explore conflict transformation, a distinct aspect of conflict management that offers opportunities for constructive change, along with relevant tools and methods.

Conflict transformation course from Emory University

Course Content

Below is a summary of what you will learn from this 17-hour course:

  • Introduction to Conflict Transformation
  • Five conflict styles and how the brain and body respond to conflict
  • Conflict Analysis and Tools – ABC, Onion, and Tree
  • Mediation guidelines
  • Strategies to deal with sudden or ongoing conflict

Generally speaking, this course offers another perspective on conflict and valuable tips others do not cover. Hence, I think it is an outstanding course to be taken alongside more comprehensive conflict management programs.

You can take it as a free online course or buy full access. The latter, which costs $49, will provide access to graded assignments and a digital certificate.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Taught by a professor from a leading US research university
  • Offer a unique perspective on conflict management
  • Clear explanations of the concepts
  • Well-balanced course materials: engaging video lectures, thought-provoking activities, and informative readings
  • The captions and transcripts are easy to read.
  • Self-paced learning
  • Free auditing

Cons

  • Inactive discussion forums

Coursera Plus

Suppose you are interested in several Coursera courses and programs. I recommend subscribing to Coursera Plus instead.

This subscription costs $33.25 per month (billed annually). It offers full access (not just auditing) to almost all content on the Coursera platform.

With this “all-inclusive” subscription, you do not need to pay hefty fees ($39 to $79) for each course or program, saving hundreds of dollars in the process.

Therefore, if you are a diligent student, it is a no-brainer to choose Coursera Plus.

CLICK THIS LINK to GET $100 OFF COURSERA PLUS NOW

6. Become a Master at Conflict Management at Home or Work

This Udemy course is a robust choice if you are looking for a crash course for conflict resolution.

You will learn from Roger Kay Allen, a veteran psychologist and executive coach who has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies to strengthen human development and leadership.

Course Content

This video course is only 4.5-hour long, comprising the following topics:

  • Understanding Conflict: Disagreement vs. Unhealthy conflict, types of conflict, building trust
  • Four styles of communication and conflict management
  • The transition from conflict to collaboration
  • Adoption of the right mindset to resolve conflicts
  • Phases of conflict resolution: from preparation to collaboration
  • and many more

I like the structure of this course. It appears beginner-friendly by starting from the concepts and then gradually moving forward to more advanced practical aspects of conflict management.

Each section has an exercise and case study that you can complete to strengthen your understanding. In the end, the instructor will put everything together so you can realize how to employ this knowledge in real life.

Reviews: 4.6/5.0, Students: 13000+

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Taught by an expert in human development with decades of experience
  • Clear explanations of concepts, tips, and techniques
  • Include various practical examples
  • Feature thought-provoking exercises and real-life case studies that students find highly helpful
  • Lifetime Access + 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Inexpensive ($20 or lower when on sale)

Cons

  • Some students pointed out several sections were repetitive, and the instructor was monotonous.
  • Many believed the course should have more exercises.

Other Alternatives

Conflict Resolution course by the State Bank of India – Another outstanding conflict resolution course on the edX platform. However, as of August 2022, this course is archived

Pun Anansakunwat
Pun Anansakunwathttps://victorytale.com/about-victorytale/
Founder of Victory Tale, a multipotentialite who has a particular interest in technology. He loves to spend time testing new products and learning interesting topics to broaden his insights. After graduating from Columbia University in 2014, he makes a living by being a stock market investor, a private tutor, a writer of three published books, and finally a website owner.

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