The Art of Negotiation - Conflict Management and Training Center Opens to Help Business Professionals and Students

Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School is launching a new program that teaches business professionals and law students how to rise above conflict and achieve a “win-win” outcome for them and their clients.

WMU-Cooley’s Center for the Study and Resolution of Conflict offers seminars and specific undergraduate and graduate-level courses that teach participants how to improve the way they deal with conflicts.

Center officials will demonstrate how to improve listening skills, explain the benefits of understanding the opposite point-of-view and teach the value of addressing conflict in a timely manner. Participants will master best practices for the selected process, heavily consider the decision-making process, develop an appreciation for creative and alternative options and learn how to minimize damage and improve the relationship among the involved parties.

Prof. Graham Ward

Professor Graham Ward, Director
(616) 301-6800 ext. 6727 or (586) 612-1704

The Center’s director, Graham Ward hopes to create a deeper understanding of the art of negotiation, including its history, societal contributions and how it has evolved through time.

“While we all engage in negotiations, virtually every day and irrespective of our personal relations and employment responsibilities, few have been formally trained in the art and science of negotiation,” Ward said. “Our four goals are to provide historical background, introduce modernized win-win and principled-negotiation concepts, demonstrate various negotiating styles and identify specific conflicts within those styles.”

Instructors will introduce participants to the various negotiating styles and tactics in how to get a positive result from their clients. As a participant, you will receive advice on setting up in-house procedures to resolve conflicts in your professional environment. Participants will also have the opportunity to observe dispute resolution efforts with actual clients.

The center offers the expertise of experienced problem-solving practitioners, coupled with academic courses, consultants and their collaboration within a major research university. The center is beneficial for current and future attorneys, judges, business leaders and managers, government leaders, community members and anyone who uses negotiation techniques in their selected profession.

Ward will be facilitating a variety of programs and seminars including upcoming lunch seminars with Professor Kenneth Jones of the WMU Integrated Supply Chain Management Program with topics to include: “Compete or Collaborate,” “The Three Ps: Pitfalls, Problems and Perils of Positional Bargaining,” “The Productive Use of Conflict” and “Please Never Talk Money at the Beginning.”

The center is able to customize courses and seminars as needed by corporations, institutions, and government entities. The center is a collaborative effort with WMU. More information is available at

About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.



Ultimate goal: achieving ‘win-win’ situations

Director seeks to provide a deeper understanding of the art of negotiation

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