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Is a Career in Conflict Management and Negotiation for You?

A career in conflict management and negotiation might be for you if you have these interpersonal skills.

Considering the conflicts that erupt every day—from workplace and family squabbles to conflicts among different political and social groups to conflicts even on the Oscars stage—having skills in conflict management and resolution can be useful. Whether you have a background in a field where conflict resolution and negotiation skills are most relevant—that of human resources, law, healthcare, public policy, or social services,1 for example—or you’re interested in making a career transition, a future in conflict management could be for you. And, if you answer “Yes!” to the following questions, we’ll tell you how you can make this career a reality.


  1. Do You Tend to Be the Mediator or Peacemaker Among Your Family and Friends?
    To be a good mediator, you must be a good speaker and debater; however, conflict management involves much more than arguing for one side or another. It’s about seeing multiple points of view and working to resolve conflicts—whether between two people or among groups of people2—through negotiation and compromise. Are you a level-headed person with a high degree of emotional intelligence? If so, a career in conflict management and negotiation may be one to consider.3
  2. Are You a Good Communicator and Listener?
    Communication skills are a must for practicing conflict management. While a part of being an excellent communicator is having good public speaking skills (including the ability to speak clearly and adjust your tone, language, and body language according to whom you’re speaking with), another key part is being a good—and active—listener. Active listening involves showing each party you are clearly listening through such actions as nodding, making eye contact, and taking time to process what was said before responding or asking questions. The act of active listening shows respect to whomever you are speaking with—which goes far when mediating conflicts.3
  3. Are You Empathetic?
    Being empathetic means being able to walk in someone else’s shoes. A person who has a sense of empathy is sensitive to others’ needs and has a solid interest in and understanding of human behavior.1 Having empathy is a critical part of conflict mediation and resolution—if you can’t understand another viewpoint apart from your own, you won’t be able to help others resolve conflict. While some people are just born having empathy, this doesn’t mean you can’t develop this skill. By being open to different perspectives, asking questions instead of making assumptions, and both giving and asking for feedback, you can become a more empathetic person.3
  4. Do You Enjoy Solving Problems?
    Problem-solving is a complex skill. It involves both critical thinking and creativity. With a career in conflict management and negotiation, you’ll use problem-solving skills to resolve conflicts that arise. The problem-solving process involves asking questions, listening actively, ensuring you fully understand each perspective, and brainstorming solutions that would satisfy both parties in some way.3 If this is something you enjoy and are good at, you may want to consider a career in conflict management.

Become an Agent for Change With a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management and Negotiation
Learn helpful skills in mediation and conflict resolution with Walden University’s Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management and Negotiation. Considering the state of national and world affairs and conflicts that erupt among individuals and groups on a personal, social, and professional level, gaining skills in conflict negotiation can be helpful for working in a variety of settings, including:1,2

  • Education
  • Government
  • Nonprofits
  • Healthcare
  • Legal services
  • Public policy and labor relations

A Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management and Negotiation can position you for roles such as:2

  • Arbitrator or mediator
  • Human resources director
  • Management consultant

This course-based, online certificate program, which is sometimes also referred to as peace studies or conflict resolution,4 consists of just 20 quarter credits—up to 10 of which can be applied to Walden’s MS in Human and Social Services and PhD in Human and Social Services.

Through this certificate program, you’ll learn about topics that include:

  • Dynamics of conflict and negotiation
  • Conflict, conflict resolution, and peace
  • Ethics and social justice
  • Intergroup relations

Walden University also offers for-credit and professional development counseling courses covering a range of topics through the School of Lifelong Learning for professionals wishing to deepen their knowledge and widen their scope of skills. With decades of experience providing practical and engaging online courses and degree programs, Walden is a great choice for anyone interested in furthering their education or gaining new skills.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering the online Graduate Certificate in Conflict Management and Negotiation. Expand your options and earn your certificate in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,