How do we build capacity to be with conflict in creative and generative ways, with kindness and courage at the center?

How can we be and work with the intensity and creative potential of complexity, confusion, and difference?

What are we learning about working in the liminal space between conflict and collaboration?

Conflict like fire can burn, illuminate or transform, depending on HOW we handle it. In this course we  explore how to lean in to the fire of conflict and work with it, and each other, with greater skill, respect and care. Leaning in to conflict – including the pain and confusion that often accompany it – and staying with it, can help us learn and connect more deeply with ourselves and each other. We invite you to join this exploration and deepening practice of creative conflict engagement that can help us collaborate better, improve OUR relationships and ultimately make peace with conflict.

In this course we explore:

  • Changing our commonly negative attitudes towards conflict and exploring the necessary role that it can play in our lives and relationships.
  • Viewing conflict as a system and examining it through a personal, interpersonal and systems lens.
  • How to slow down our automatic fight/flight responses and engage conflict more mindfully and creatively.
  • We look at changing our attitudes toward conflict, cultivating embodied practices that allow us to be more creative and courageous when faced with difference and disagreement.

Who is this course for?

This training is intended for people working with others in any context whether in teams, organizations, families, educational institutions and any other collaborative efforts. Leaning in to Conflict is for you, if you:

  • Find yourself challenged or triggered by others in your personal or professional life
  • Work with teams or groups that regularly experience  unproductive conflict
  • Are working with human resources or relationships
  • Are wondering how to create more peaceful societies



The Course has started and runs: 4 Wednesdays | 26 Feb, 4, 11, 18 March|

  • Pacific time: 9.00am – 11.00am
  • East Coast time: 12.00pm – 2.00pm
  • UK: 17.00 – 19.00
  • Central Europe: 18.00 – 20.00
  • Eastern Europe: 19.00 – 21.00


In our online learning environments integrating our live zoom sessions with additional material.

How much?

Price: $250 per person
Please consider donating a little extra to support our scholarship fund.
Scholarships available on request.

Team discount for teams of 3 or more: 30%


If you have any further questions you are welcome to drop Rowan a line:

“Conflicts may be the sources of defeat, lost life and a limitation of our potentiality but they may also lead to greater depth of living and the birth of more far-reaching unities, which flourish in the tensions that engender them.”  – Karl Jaspers


Session 1 – Conflict and me?

In this opening session we will begin to learn to safely flex our “conflict engagement” muscles. Learning to engage conflict and mine it for its creative potential is a challenging and promising process. It is a way to reduce immediate flight-fight-freeze responses and develop a fundamentally different way of leaning in, learning from and harnessing  conflict’s heat as we seek its light.

We will explore:

  • Engaging Conflict and its hidden potential
  • Inviting engagement
  • Personal development through conflict encounter
  • Conflict as vehicle for discovering need, purpose and principles

Session 2 – Engage with others

In this session, we will take a deeper look into the subtleties of human interaction and what happens between people and groups when conflict and intensity arise. The more complexity we include when engaging in conflict, the more opportunities we evoke for working with it creatively. We can shift hardened dynamics taking different perspectives, including more of our own and others’ experience, and harnessing resources to move forward from listening deeply, being present and leaning in to what is difficult. Often, conflict is not the problem, our ways of working with it are. We will explore together how the “other” can become.

We will explore:

  • Sameness and difference and how they impact our human nervous system
  • Emotions, our triggers and how we react or respond
  • Listening with presence and grace
  • Taking perspectives
  • The role of identity in conflict
  • Integrative problem solving

Session 3 – Conflict and Collaboration

Conflicts are often born out of unmet goals and  frustrated needs, narratives and values. At a deeper level conflicts are also about ways people, individually and in groups, feel that their identities are vulnerable or undermined by others. In this session we will explore ways goal conflicts and identity conflicts regularly reinforce each other in a vicious cycle and how this cycle can be reversed in to a virtuous cycle of cooperative goal seeking and positive individual and group identity development.

We will explore:

  • Engaging conflict to foster cooperation
  • The Power of Why in collaborative work
  • Rothman’s ROI Levels of Conflict Iceberg model
  • Identity based conflict and cooperation

Session 4  My role in Conflicts in the World

Democracy is “about organizing conflict and living with conflict” (Ralf Dahrendorf)

We find conflict at every level and scale of our society. some conflicts are small and close to home whereas others are out there in the big, complex and often overwhelming world.

In this session we explore how we as individuals taking more charge of our own conflicts, can also positively influence ways conflicts are creatively engaged in the wider.

We will explore:

  • Conflict through a systems lens: self, group and inter group peacemaking.
  • What is the context that we are part of and the reality we live within?
  • How is my practice reflected in the world?
  • What does it mean to build peace?